Sep 17
2021

According to Variety, Helen Mirren is set to host a four-part “Harry Potter” wizarding world competition event in celebration of the 20th anniversary of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” The event, officially titled “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses,” will put superfans of the beloved book and film series to the test as they use their “Harry Potter” knowledge to compete for the coveted House Cup. The special will feature hundreds of “Harry Potter” trivia questions and include a few special guest appearances. Although a date for the event has yet to be announced, it will be simulcast on Cartoon Network’s ACME Night and TBS and will then be available to stream on HBO Max. “I knew someday I’d get a ‘Harry Potter’ role, and I’m so pleased to take part in the 20-year film celebration,” Mirren said in a statement. “The films inspired such enchantment and wonder for so many of us, and it will be such a treat to reignite that magic for the countless fans who continue to revel in this spellbinding world.”

The special is set to film this month and will premiere later this year.

Sep 14
2021

To mark the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, Milan-based theatre producer Julia Holden, collaborating with award-winning UK playwright Justin Butcher, is curating a 24-hour marathon live reading in Florence of the whole of the Divine Comedy, in the acclaimed English translation by Robert and Jean Hollander. According to The Florentine, Speaking Dante will take place with a live audience and live-streamed, with contributors including Ralph Fiennes, Helen Mirren, Adjoa Andoh, Jessie Buckley, Dominic West, Stephen Dillane, Rupert Everett, Ian McDiarmid, Tim McInnerny and John Nettles, and a team of top UK and international theatre professionals. It’s a fitting tribute to the Florentine poet’s astonishing legacy and the enduring power of The Divine Comedy. Speaking Dante will be hosted and live-streamed by the Cinema La Compagnia, in partnership with the Teatro della Pergola, the City of Florence, The British Institute in Florence and The Florentine, from 7pm CET on Monday, September 13 to 7pm CET on Tuesday, September 14.

Echoing the theme of exile in Dante’s life and work, Speaking Dante will be a charity fundraising event, with all proceeds going to support projects working with refugees and migrants in Italy, specifically in Florence. The charity partner is the Community of Sant’Egidio, whose pioneering work supporting refugees and migrants in Italy includes the Schools of Language & Culture, the Humanitarian Corridors Project, the Genti di Pace (People of Peace) project and work with the Roma people. As a celebration of the first great work of Italian literature written in the vernacular, Speaking Dante will raise funds for the Schools of Language & Culture, Community of Sant’Egidio, Florence, an empowering project enabling refugees and migrants to learn the Italian language and engage with Italian culture. The founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio is the internationally renowned academic, politician and human rights activist, Professor Andrea Riccardi, who is also the current president of Società Dante Alighieri.

Sep 09
2021

Some amazing news from Deadline: Morgan Freeman, Al Pacino, Helen Mirren and Danny DeVito are set to star in “Sniff”, a stylish reinvention of the film noir genre that will be directed by Oscar winner Taylor Hackford. Endeavor Content will launch worldwide sales at TIFF, with CAA Media Finance co-repping U.S. rights. In the Tom Grey-scripted film, two residents die under suspicious circumstances in a high-end luxury retirement community. Retired detective Joe Mulwray (Freeman) is pulled back into the action by his former partner William Keys (DeVito), and they uncover a hidden underworld of sex, drugs and murder in the wealthy community controlled by kingpin Harvey Stride (Pacino), and his femme fatale enforcer, The Spider (Mirren). Sniff is an acronym for Senior Nursing Institute & Family Foundation.

I have always been a big fan of film noir but haven’t really made one, though I did make Against All Odds. That was a remake of Out of the Past, which is one of the best film noirs ever. I didn’t want to make a shot for shot redo of that, but took it as inspiration. Adam and Matt Skiena sent me the script, over the transom to my agent, and I was delighted. First-time screenwriter who has amazing style and conceptually understands what makes film noir stick. The whole concept of setting a film noir in an upscale retirement community … these are proliferating all over the United States as the baby boomer generation gets to retirement. There’s a lot of money, and people want to live in a beautiful setting. Those are on the brochures, but what Tom Grey did was show what was lurking below the surface. I thought it was a brilliant idea and he understood the nature of good noir – the dark story, the incredibly twisted characters – and I thought he had a great handle. Adam and Matt said, ‘It’s yours if you want to run with it.’ I met the writer, Tom Grey, we clicked and worked on it together, him writing and me putting ideas in. When you have something that’s original, I asked him, ‘Who did you have in mind when you wrote it?’ He said Morgan Freeman as the detective at the end of his rope, the main nemesis Al Pacino, the femme fatale Helen Mirren – an actor I know quite well. I said, ‘How about the ex-partner?’ He said Danny DeVito. Well, these are all people I know. I’ve worked with Al, Helen, Danny is a friend, and Morgan I know, and he’s always been looking for something to do with Helen. He’s told me that. I said, ‘I’m going to try and make your dream come true.’ Luckily, what I’d read on the page fit those actors. (Taylor Hackford)

From there, it was not only about making people’s schedules work but form-fitting the roles for the elite cast. Producer Goodman said the goal is for the film to begin production by early next year. “The dream is to have the film available for the fourth quarter of 2022,” he said. “Adult audiences are wildly underserved right now, and it feels like there is a great opportunity here. This film can play broadly but it can be a real event for that community. We really haven’t seen this type of cast since the Ocean’s Eleven movies.”

Sep 05
2021

On Wednesday, Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford attended the opening night premiere of the 78th Venice Film Festival. Helen has been invited to the festival many times in the past – she served as a jury member in 2004 and received the Coppa Volpi as Best Actress for “The Queen” at the festival’s 63th edition. Pictures from the appearance have been added to the photo gallery.


Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2021 – 78th Venice Film Festival – Opening Night

Sep 05
2021

Last Sunday, Helen Mirren joined the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda Show extravaganza in Venice, Italy – a three-day celebration of fashion ahead of the Venice Film Festival’s opening (which Helen also attended, see next update). Pictures from the arrivals, front row and after-party have been added to the photo gallery.


Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2021 – Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda Show – After-Party
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2021 – Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda Show – Front Row
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2021 – Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda Show – Arrivals