Issue 13: What’s New? (28 December)

No time to keep up-to-date? No problem. Every issue, RSL rounds-up relevant goings-on in the world of fact-based cinema. We start with an influential American singer/songwriter whose turbulent personal life was almost as legendary as his music…

One to watch!

I saw the lightBritain’s own Tom Hiddleston stars as the legendary country songwriter and performer, Hank Williams, in I Saw the Light. The story tells of his rise to fame and his turbulent personal life, which included alcoholism, womanising and an untimely death aged just 29.

While the film sounds like one of those ‘cookie-cutter’ musical biopics, Hiddleston’s performance is attracting a lot of positive attention – not least because he did all his own singing and guitar twanging.

The film was directed by Marc Abraham, who also adapted the script from Hank Williams: The Biography by Colin Escott, George Merritt and William MacEwen. I Saw the Light co-stars Elizabeth Olsen and Bradley Whitford. It lands in UK cinemas in February 2016 and on US screens in March. Take a look at the trailer:

If that’s whetted your appetite for more, you can also check out this clip of Hiddleston doing his country thang:

More video and trailers…

Joy: This tells the true story of Joy Mangano, who invented the Miracle Mop and founded a business dynasty. Take a look at the trailer:

The Revenant: Ahead of the release of this violent and much-anticipated nineteenth century-set tale of revenge, director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, screenwriter, Mark L. Smith, and producer, Mary Parent got together for a 30-minute discussion of the film. It was presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Hollywood Reporter.

The Big Short: The film adaptation of Michael Lewis’ book about the lead up to the financial crisis is due to hit the big screen, with an all-star cast that includes Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. Take a look at a lengthy roundtable discussion about the film, courtesy of THR:

You can also check out a new clip from the film:

Eddie the Eagle: Finally, the story of an unlikely British sporting hero comes to the big screen(!) Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman star in the story of Michael Edwards, who decided to become Great Britain’s first Olympic ski-jumper, setting his sights on the 1988 Calgary Winter Games. It’s due out in April 2016. Take a look at the trailer:

Concussion: Take a look at this interview (courtesy of Variety) with Will Smith and Benicio Del Toro on their controversial and Oscar-tipped NFL drama. Find it here.


– Pope Francis biopic, Call Me Francesco, received its world premier at the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall.

– Reese Witherspoon will reportedly star in a biopic of Ruth Handler, creator of the Barbie doll.

– Ernest Hemingway biopic, Papa, received its international premiere on 5 December at Cuba’s 37th International Festival of New Latin Cinema in Havana.

– Amazon Studios has acquired a script about legendary US TV newscaster Mike Wallace, the man behind 60 Minutes.

– Barbra Streisand will reportedly direct a historical biopic of Catherine the Great.

– Benny Boom is the latest director attached to the anticipated biopic of Tupac Shakur.

American Sniper writer, Jason Hall, will adapt (and direct) David Finkel’s non-fiction book, Thank You For Your Service, which tells of a group of US soldiers who struggle to integrate back into their civilian lives upon their return from Iraq.

– A banker is reportedly suing Paramount Pictures over alleged defamation, claiming one of the fictional characters in The Wolf of Wall Street bore a resemblance to himself.

– The Philippine’s official submission for the foreign-language Oscar is historical epic, Heneral Luna, which tells of General Antonio Luna, whose command of troops in the Philippine-American War (1899-1902) was cut short by betrayal.

– Jeremy Renner will reportedly portray legendary boxer, Rocky Marciano, in a forthcoming biopic.

– James Franco will write and direct, The Disaster Artist, which tells of the making of 2003 cult film, The Room, labelled as one of the worst movies ever made.

– Natalie Portman plays Jacqueline Kennedy in Jackie, which tells of the first lady’s fights to define JFK’s legacy in immediate aftermath of his assassination.

– A film is reportedly in the works about a 2011 scandal that rocked the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

– Chadwick Boseman is lined up to play legendary attorney and Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, in a forthcoming biopic telling of the lawyer’s early career.

Chappaquiddick will tell of Ted Kennedy’s infamous 1969 car accident in which his passenger was killed.

– David Jaher’s book, The Witch of Lime Street: Seance, Seduction and Houdini in the Spirit World, is due to be adapted for the big screen – the story tells of the rivalry between Harry Houdini and psychic, Margery Crandon.

– The story of Marc Rich, the indicted billionaire commodities trader who was pardoned by President Bill Clinton, is reportedly headed for the big screen.

– The 1906 lynching of Ed Johnson and the landmark legal battle that followed will reportedly be brought to the big screen.

– Brad Pitt stars in the satirical comedy, War Machine, which is inspired by Michael Hastings’ bestselling book, The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan.

– The Black List’s yearly ranking of the most popular unproduced scripts in Hollywood is topped by a biography of Michael Jackson’s pet chimp…which seems like a good note to end on. See you in 2016!

Issue 14 of RSL is out on 25 January.