Evan Rachel Wood is poised for her biggest role yet with Across the Universe (Sept. 21), a Beatles-themed musical from Titus director Julie Taymorbut Taymor’s behind-the-scenes struggles over the final cut and the film’s surreal take on the Fab Four leaves it up in the air as to whether this will be the next Moulin Rouge or the next Sgt. Pepper. You know, the one with the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton.
Wes Anderson reunites with his Rushmore leading man Jason Schwartzman (who also co-wrote the script) in The Darjeeling Limited (exact date of release TBA), a tale of three estranged brothers on a train ride through India. Anderson, hopefully, won’t find himself limited by his own quirky formula, as some advance reviews have suggested.
George Clooney stars in a Michael Clayton (Oct. 5), a tale about a corporate lawyer dealing with a chief litigator’s (Tom Wilkinson) nervous breakdown during a big case.
Ryan Gosling isn’t likely to reach his Notebook fanbase in Craig Gillespie’s Lars and the Real Girl (Oct. 12), a tale of a man convinced his plastic love doll is a real person.
Though Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf (Nov. 16) features the same motion-capture storytelling as The Polar Express, this dark reinterpretation of the classic story, co-written by author Neil Gaiman and Rules of Attraction director Roger Avary, promises to aim for a much older audience.
The Squid and the Whale’s Noah Baumbach explores another dysfunctional family in Margot at the Wedding (Nov. 16), a tale of a neurotic woman (Nicole Kidman) horrified by the slobbish fiancé (Jack Black) of her sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh, who’s married to Baumbach in real life). Passive-aggressive hilarity ensues.
His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman’s “anti-Narnia” series of fantasy novels, make their big-screen debut in The Golden Compass (Dec. 7), Chris Weitz’s epic fantasy about a young girl (Dakota Blue Richards) in a parallel universe filled with spiritual-familiar “daemons” who embarks on a quest with a witch (Eva Green), a zeppelin-pilot cowboy (Sam Elliott) and an armored bear to stop a mysterious aristocrat’s (Nicole Kidman) evil scheme. Trust us, it’ll make perfect sense when you see it.
Will lightning strike a third time in 2007 for writer/producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Superbad) with the Jake Kasdan-directed Walk Hard (Dec. 21), a parody of Walk the Line-type musical biopics?
Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud wrote and co-directed Persepolis (Dec. 25), an animated feature based on Satrapi’s graphic novel about growing up in Iran, which has already won the Jury Prize at Cannes … and received condemnation from the Iranian government.
Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman play siblings at odds over their ailing father in The Savages (Dec. 26), from writer/director Tamara Jenkins (Slums of Beverly Hills).