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Myles: Transformers 4 is a dream

From Belfast Telegraph (IE)

Sophia Myles has revealed she still can’t believe she has a role in the next Transformers film.

The British beauty is to play a scientist in Michael Bay’s fourth instalment of the giant shape-shifting robots franchise alongside Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci.

“We’ve been on it for a couple of months now. It’s so exciting and so thrilling. I love working with the whole cast and Michael Bay is just an incredible director. I feel so privileged, I’m still pinching myself,” she said.

“We’re still shooting right now. We’ve been all over the world: we’ve been in Detroit, Chicago, Washington, Texas and a lot of it in Hong Kong and maybe parts in China.”

Sophia remained tight-lipped about her character but admitted she hasn’t filmed with Mark yet.

“I haven’t actually worked with Mark yet but I have lunch with him and his entourage whenever we’re on set. They’re the most hilarious people I’ve ever met,” she continued.

“A lot of my work is with Stanley Tucci and he’s just so funny. He’s so talented and I have to not laugh at him being incredible, and that’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to do on the film.”

The former Spooks star did admit that the forthcoming film will be “even better” than its predecessors, which starred Shia LaBeouf.

“I think it’s going to be even better than the last ones and they were pretty great,” she said, adding: “We’ve all been sworn to secrecy. I’d love to tell you more but I can’t.”

Kelsey Grammer, TJ Miller and Li Bingbing will also star in Transformers 4, which is set for release in summer 2014.

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Sophia Myles to Join Mark Wahlberg in Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers 4’ (Exclusive)

From The Wrap (US)/ by Jeff Sneider

Director Michael Bay has tapped British actress Sophia Myles (“Underworld”) for a major supporting role in Paramount’s big-budget sequel “Transformers 4,” TheWrap has learned.

Paramount had no comment.

Mark Wahlberg leads an all new cast that also includes rising stars Nicola Peltz (“Bates Motel”) as his daughter and Jack Reynor (“What Richard Did”) as her boyfriend. Kelsey Grammer was recently cast as the human antagonist of the film.

While the studio is keeping her role under wraps, an individual familiar with the script has told TheWrap that Myles will play a scientist. She recently attended the Los Angeles premiere of Bay’s “Pain & Gain.”

Ehren Kruger wrote the script for the big-budget blockbuster, which Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing with Ian Bryce, Tom DeSanto and Don Murphy.

Myles starred opposite James Franco in the 2006 romance “Tristan + Isolde” and has also appeared in a pair of “Underworld” movies. Her other feature credits include “Art School Confidential” and “From Hell.”

Myles is repped by the Gersh Agency and London-based United Agents.

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Gollancz To Publish Expanded Edition Of Behind The Sofa For Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary

From SFX (UK)/ by Dave Golder

Gollancz will be publishing an expanded version of the charity book Behind The Sofa: Celebrity Memories Of Doctor Who, edited by Steve Berry, in time for the 50th Anniversary of the show.

Behind The Sofa is a collection of over 100 celebrity memories of Doctor Who, compiled in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK. Steve Berry decided to undertake this project in memory of his mother Janet, who suffered from Alzheimer’s in her final years and passed away in 2009. The book took more than four years to put together and its initial publication was “crowd-funded” by the pre-orders of an enthusiastic Whovian community.

Steve spent years interviewing celebrities, including many household names, and others who have more direct Doctor Who links, and asked them one simple question: what is your favourite memory of Doctor Who? The resulting collection is by turns touching, heart-warming, funny and educational. You can read our review of it here.

After successfully self-publishing the project, and raising approximately £20,000 for the charity, Steve considered producing an expanded paperback. However, when he realised that Gollancz editor Marcus Gipps had ordered the book, he got in touch and suggested an expanded new special edition in time for the Time Lord’s 50th Anniversary, to be published by the world’s biggest and best SF imprint: Gollancz.

The original edition contained a host of famous names, including Jonathan Ross, Chris Tarrant, Al Murray, Stephen Merchant, and Bill Oddie; actors Lynda Bellingham, Nicholas Parsons, Hugh Bonneville and Rhys Thomas; writers Neil Gaiman, Jenny Colgan, Jonathan Ross and Charlie Brooker and political figures Louise Mensch and Tom Harris, plus many more. In addition, there was input from a number of the writers, actors and production staff who were involved in creating Doctor Who stories new and old.

The new Gollancz edition will be expanded and include more new celebrities, including Gollancz author and Doctor Who writer Ben Aaronovitch, Alexei Sayle, Bernard Cribbins and Sophia Myles as well as new illustrations from Doctor Who Magazine mainstay Ben Morris, who designed the previous edition.

Steve will once again be donating 100% of his royalties from the book to Alzheimer’s Research UK, which is also one of Orion Publishing’s Charities of the Year for 2013.

Marcus Gipps said, “When I first started reading the book, I was hugely impressed at the range of people that Steve had contacted. But what was more impressive was how different all of their first memories of Doctor Who were, and how fondly it was remembered. The connection with Steve’s chosen charity is poignant but important, and we’re delighted to have this opportunity to raise more money for a much needed charity, while also giving a wider audience the chance to appreciate this wonderful book/collection”

Steve Berry said: “Gollancz is the perfect home for this new, improved and expanded edition of Behind The Sofa. When I conceived the book, I wanted it to fulfil two purposes; firstly, to raise a TARDIS-load of cash for scientific research into the dementia that affected my mum; and secondly, to show just how vibrantly Doctor Who can live on in the memories of those who experience it. Just as the Doctor’s various incarnations have proved increasingly popular with viewers over the years, I hope that the newly regenerated edition of this book will go from strength to strength.”

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Spotlight on International Projects: Blackwood

From Screen Daily (US) / By Maria Sell

Adam Wimpenny, a Screen International Star of Tomorrow, has just wrapped his directorial debut feature, Blackwood. Screen’s Maria Sell visited the set of the supernatural thriller in Surrey.

The film shot for six weeks mainly on location near Guildford as well as in a studio in London and stars Ed Stoppard (Nanny McPhee Returns, The Pianist) and Sophia Myles (Hallam Foe, Tristan + Isolde) as a couple who move to a large country house, Blackwood, with their eight-year-old son (Isaac Andrews). The husband starts to have visions of a masked boy and is determined to investigate a mysterious disappearance that may involve a war veteran, played by Russell Tovey (Him & Her).

The thriller is not only Wimpenny’s directorial debut but also the first feature-length film to come out of Wildcard Films, established in 2009 by Wimpenny, producer Adam Morane-Griffiths and writer Joe Hill.

One of Wildcard’s other projects, conspiracy thriller The Mandrake Experiment (which is scheduled to go into production this summer), was slated to shoot before Blackwood – both were developed concurrently – but when financing fell apart two weeks into prep, the team decided to fast-track Blackwood instead.

The feature is financed entirely through private equity investments, which were channelled through an EIS, with some of the partners initially attached to Mandrake. But as producer Morane-Griffiths says they were happy to come on board for Blackwood as “they are backing the filmmakers”.

This change to Wildcard’s schedule could certainly work to their advantage considering that supernatural and horror films have fared well in the last 18 months as international successes, such as The Woman in Black and horror film Mama. “There’s also a track record in the UK of making supernatural thrillers and it suited our skillset,” says Morane-Griffiths.

He asked business partner and writer Joe Hill to pitch an idea, which they developed over the next 3 ½ years. Hill says: “I had an idea for a reversal within the story for a while, a little bit like Roar [Wildcard’s well-received short film, directed by Wimpenny and starring Russell Tovey and Jodie Whittaker] with the twist. I always wanted to do that particular twist and when he [Morane-Griffiths] asked about a ghost story, I thought actually that’s kind of a perfect fit.”

Influences

While Hill admits that he was keen to “write something that’s very much character based and not all about the concept”, inspiration for Blackwood also originated in horror films like Don’t Look Now and The Shining and other staples of the genre from the 1970s and 80s. Hill acknowledges that the thriller also has a Gothic feel to it, but credits Wimpenny as well as production designer Michael Howells (Nanny McPhee, Emma) with making the film “not look too staged, still feeling real”.

Wimpenny reiterates and confesses to re-watching The Shining prior to the Blackwood shoot but deliberately stayed away from some of the most recent “teen/urban youth type” horror films as he is “more interested in the suspense aspects, so it’s more about the tension and the mood rather than being about the gore”. Consequently it’s not an effects based film and everything is done with the camera bar a few “little tricks”, reveals Wimpenny.

Thus, there was a conscious choice to shoot the thriller on the Red Epic (the camera that was also used by Peter Jackson to shoot The Hobbit) with anamorphic lenses from the 1970s that give a softer look and more classic quality. The wide frame of anamorphic lenses also allowed Wimpenny to “place performers hard left or hard right of the frame or out on location to hold the shot for a little longer. He continues, “I find the wider you go with the camera the spookier you can make it when you see dark recesses in the house. It‘s about inviting the audience to look into the corners of the frame, it’s about what you don’t see as much as what you do see in the frame.”

Cast

In terms of the casting Morane-Griffiths admits that “when Joe [Hill] was doing a first draft of the screenplay I sent him a photograph of Ed [Stoppard] […] so it’s been subconsciously him. I think Ed’s been in the screenplay all the way through. Because when you see him playing it, he’s perfect.” Morane-Griffiths and Hill also previously worked with Stoppard on the play The Leisure Society (Trafalgar Studios, 2012). Russell Tovey starred in Wimpenny’s short film Roar,and Sophia Myles came onboard through United.

They all agree that the production has been terrific, aside from the snow disruption in late January, which slightly prolonged the shoot and also meant re-shooting some material.

After shooting her final scene Myles reflects that she was attracted to the role because it differs from the usual fare as “most of the times in films, women are in a story to be the object of sexual desire or a love interest and very little else in general”. For Stoppard the quality of the script drew him to the project, saying that “most actors want to tell good stories, so if it’s good on the page […] then you’ve got a good chance of producing something worthwhile on screen”.

Blackwood is now in post-production with delivery expected for later this year.

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