EXCLUSIVE: The paint is still wet in post-production on Mariah Mundi And The Midas Box, the steam punk teen adventure adapted from Graham Taylor’s popular novels, but producers have given the greenlight to an as-yet untitled sequel. Key cast including Aneurin Barnard and Michael Sheen will return.“The decision to greenlight a sequel has been very much based upon how happy we are with the first movie as it comes together, and reactions from test audiences,” producer Peter Bevan tells Deadline. The ambitious independent production has already sold in territories including Germany, Latin America, Russia and China and will screen a sizzle reel at AFM on Friday. “We’ve already covered our at-risk equity investment based on early sales, so we’re ready to push ahead,” Bevan says.
Barnard plays the 17-year-old Mariah, whose world is torn apart by the disappearance of his parents and the kidnapping of his younger brother. In the first adventure, he teams up with Sheen’s Will Charity and journeys to a majestic hotel teetering on the edge of a cliff where he finds an extraordinary box that turns everyday objects into gold. The two published sequels detail further adventures at the hotel, but the filmed sequel won’t be based on either of them (Mariah Mundi And The Ghost Diamonds and Mariah Mundi And The Ship Of Fools). Rather, it will move to exotic locales in a new story scripted by Christian Taylor and based on a currently unpublished fourth book.
Produced by Entertainment Motion Pictures in association with Arcadia Motion Pictures, the hope is that given Harry Potter and Twilight will be out of the way, the market is ripe for a fresh teen adventure franchise to program against The Hunger Games. “The middle ground of budgets has disappeared,” Bevan says, “and our intention with Mariah Mundi was to make a knowingly commercial movie to fill the gap, on an independent basis.” Seeking US and UK distribution at AFM, Six Sales will screen three key sequences, with completed VFX, from the picture-locked first film which will be delivered in time for the Cannes market.
Posted by: Kristen Hyde, 03-26-2012
‘From little things, big things grow’ is definitely the story when it comes to the film, Foster starring Toni Collette and Ioan Gruffudd.
“Originally a short film, Foster won hearts and accolades (Best Film and Best Screenplay) at the Braga International Film Festival in Portugal which lead to its revamp into a feature length film.
The story at first is a sad one. Zooey (the lovely Toni Collette) and her husby, Alec (the sexy Hornblower, Ioan Gruffudd) are in a painful and self-destructing marriage after the death of their son. After experiencing difficulty trying to conceive, Zooey and Alec await confirmation of a child to foster.
On their doorstep arrives the mysterious, Eli (the cute-as-a-button, Maurice Cole) who claims to have been sent from the foster agency. Eli is wise beyond his young years and through his mysterious ways, starts to build the bridges once broken between Zooey and Alec.
A little pain, a little humour and a wonderful cast make this the ultimate rainy day movie – blankets and raisin toast a must.
This lovely review appeared in Australia:
Family values a rare sight in live-action dramas
Toni Collette in the thoroughly charming film Foster. Source: Supplied
CINEMA has neglected the family drama. Consequently, a film such as Hugo arrives and we’re in raptures, particularly because someone as grand as Martin Scorsese deigned to stoop to the genre.
Of course, we forget one of Steven Spielberg’s earliest films was a magnificent example of the type, E.T. No, today family movies are little more than frenetic 3-D computer animations and even they are chastised when they vary from the norm, as we saw with Coraline.
But live-action narrative dramas that may be suitable for a family? Too rare. And perhaps too tough to pull off.
Jonathan Newman has leapt admirably into the tough genre with Foster, albeit with something that will play better to adults. It is an extension of his award-winning 2007 short film of the same name about a seven-year-old child who unexpectedly lifts a couple from their deep malaise after they’ve realised they can’t conceive a child.
That’s a hard sell but not with a cast led by Toni Collette and Ioan Gruffudd as the couple, Zooey and Alec, and Richard E. Grant and the still-unspeakably beautiful Hayley Mills in support.
Foster (PG, Anchor Bay, 87min, $24.99) might have been so mawkish – particularly with another accident that underpins the couple’s grief – and its tinges of magic realism could have lurched into the plain stupid.
Foster is a thoroughly charming and likable film that balances its potentially iffy qualities with aplomb. It frames London beautifully, sunnily, as a magical place in which miracles can happen, and the chemistry between Collette and the young star, Maurice Cole, is strong. Indeed, Cole’s performance anchors the film. As the young Eli, he begins too precociously but wins you over with a competence that overcomes some difficult dialogue.
And Newman’s direction and script are strong, which may surprise those who persisted with his last feature, the drab sex comedy Swinging with the Finkels. He resorts to the occasional visual cliche and we’ve seen the primary conceit before but Foster has enough going for it to prosper.