Back with another foray in News From the Lake. In this installment, there’s an update on casting for the upcoming Mary Pickford biopic, as well as a few classic DVD release dates you should know about.
Variety is reporting that Julia Stiles has signed on to play acclaimed screenwriter Frances Marion in the Mary Pickford biopic, The First. She’ll be joining a cast that includes Lily Rabe as Pickford, and Michael Pitt. I’ve been following this movie for a while, and until this story broke I had no idea casting had even progressed. It seemed that Rabe’s name was listed as Pickford and the movie just died. Glad to know it’s been progressing nicely. I’ve been following The First for two reasons: 1) A biopic on Mary Pickford should have been made a long time ago. There should be several of them by now! 2) I absolutely ADORE Lily Rabe (and yes, I loved her before American Horror Story). Rabe is a unique talent, and she has a lot of silent actress touches in her appearance and acting. I think she’ll make the perfect Pickford. As for Stiles’ casting, I don’t know much about Francis Marion other than her friendship with Pickford, as well as being at the forefront of women in early movie history. Stiles can be a tad hammy, so I’m hoping the role will allow her to downplay her past works where she played a stick in the mud (I refer to her role in Silver Linings Playbook). The production is still hoping to cast Jack Pickford (Mary’s brother), Mary’s mother, and Lillian Gish. The First will be based on Eileen Whitfield‘s comprehensive (I recommend it) biography on Pickford, Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood, and is being co-produced by Dominick Fairbanks, grandson of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. The full Variety article can be found here.
The great movie label, Twilight Time in conjunction with Screen Archives, have just released their slate of releases up to June of this year. I really enjoy this label as they not only release a combination of obscure and contemporary movies, but they do so on Blu-Ray while limiting the runs to 3,000 copies. I won’t put up the full list, but I did want to mention a few of their choices I’m happy to see. Philadelphia is coming out May 14th, and this movie will make you bawl. I’ve been dying to see Leave Her to Heaven for a long time, and I’m hoping to do so on Blu-Ray; that comes out May 14th as well. They’re also releases the 1970 Elizabeth Taylor/Warren Beatty movie The Only Game in Town on June 11th. I’ve seen part of this, and would love to see it on Blu. You can purchase films, and see their full slate at Screen Archives.
That’s all the news from the Lake for now. See you next time!
A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.