Time for some news about movies based in reality, sort of.
1. Real-life spouses Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly will play Charles Darwin and his wife Emma in Creation, a film based on Randal Keynes’ book Annie’s Box. (Keynes is the great-great-grandson of the Darwins, and he is also the father of Skandar, who plays Edmund in the Narnia movies.) The film will portray Charles as “a man torn between his love for his deeply religious wife and his own growing belief in a world where God has no place.” If memory serves, Bettany previously played a 19th-century naturalist who said it was possible to believe in both God and evolution, in Peter Weir’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), so it will be interesting to compare the two roles. — Hollywood Reporter
2. Man on Wire, a documentary about Philippe Petit’s illegal high-wire walk between the World Trade Centre’s twin towers in August 1974, is an excellent film on its own. But starting today, those who see it in New York and Los Angeles may be in for a special treat, as “select screenings” will be followed by The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (2005), an animated short about Petit’s famous feat that is narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal and based on Mordicai Gerstein’s children’s book. Let us hope that the short will be attached to screenings in other cities, too — or, failing that, that it will be included as a bonus feature on the Man on Wire DVD. — Variety
3. One of my favorite interviews, during my student newspaper days, was the one I did with Leon Gast just three days before he won his Oscar for When We Were Kings (1996); it’s on page 11 of this PDF file. That film concerned the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’, i.e. the famous boxing match that took place between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire in 1974. But before the fighting, there was a massive, three-day concert that Gast’s film could only briefly allude to. Now, however, editor Jeffrey Levy-Hinte has taken Gast’s remaining footage and crafted a documentary devoted to the concert itself, and the resulting film, called Soul Power, premiered last night at the Toronto International Film Festival. — Wall Street Journal
4. Nicholas Meyer — best known for writing and/or directing three of the better Star Trek films, and for scripting a couple of Philip Roth adaptations — is now working on a screenplay about George Washington. — Hollywood Reporter
5. Michael Moore‘s self-tribute documentary Captain Mike Across America got pretty bad reviews when it premiered in Toronto last year. That might explain why Moore has decided to bypass theatres altogether and release the film, for free and under an entirely different name, over the internet later this month. Now known as Slacker Uprising, the film will be available to Americans and Canadians here for three weeks, beginning September 23, and then it will be released on DVD. — Associated Press