J.K. Rowling’s immensely popular book that started it all — “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” — will be read by a lineup of celebrities chapter-by-chapter, in a series of free videos and audio recordings to be doled out over the next several months.
Rowling’s Wizarding World announced seven readers for the special event on Twitter today: Daniel Radcliffe, Stephen Fry, David Beckham, Dakota Fanning, Claudia Kim, Noma Dumezweni and Eddie Redmayne, with more to come. Each will read different sections of the beloved fantasy (known as “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” outside the U.S.), with its themes of family, friendship, courage and overcoming adversity, for families and fans around the world.
All 17 chapters of the book will be released between now and mid-summer. Videos will be posted weekly on harrypotterathome.com, with an audio-only version available for free on Spotify.
Kicking off the series of video readings will be Harry Potter himself: Daniel Radcliffe, who will read the book’s first chapter, “The Boy Who Lived,” streaming today on Wizarding World (at this link) on Spotify (at this link).
The special series is part of Harry Potter at Home, an initiative developed by Wizarding World Digital and Rowling’s agency, the Blair Partnership, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of partners including Warner Bros., Bloomsbury, Scholastic and Pottermore Publishing.
The initiative includes an open licence to teachers allowing them to post recordings of themselves reading Harry Potter stories on educational platforms and networks and a dedicated hub of information and activities at harrypotterathome.com. In addition, Amazon’s Audible currently is making the audiobook of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (narrated by Jim Dale) available to stream for free via Audible Stories. [Source]
Sony’s The Nightingale WWII drama starring Elle and Dakota Fanning, which was suppose to come out at the end of this year, has been pushed to Dec. 22, 2021 due to the COVID-19 production shutdown.
Real-life sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning will play on-screen sisters in the coming-of-age story adapted from Kristin Hannah’s international bestseller. Pic, which is being directed by Melanie Laurent, is set on the eve of World War II and follows the sisters’ struggle to survive and resist the German occupation of France. The story was inspired by the courageous women of the French Resistance who helped downed Allied airmen escape Nazi-occupied territory and hid Jewish children.
The project reteams Laurent with Elle Fanning after the duo worked on the 2018 movie Galveston together.
The Nightingale has been published in 45 languages, and went on to sell 3.5 million copies in the U.S. alone and became a No. 1 New York Times Bestseller for a total of 114 weeks on the list. [Source]
The release date for TriStar’s “The Nightingale,” starring Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning, has now been unset.
In December, TheWrap exclusively reported that Mélanie Laurent (“Galveston”) would direct the period drama from a script by Dana Stevens. Elizabeth Cantillon was to produce through her production company The Cantillon Company. The two sisters were to unite for the first time on screen to play sisters, based on Kristin Hannah’s worldwide best-seller of the same name.
“The Nightingale,” which was in preproduction before worldwide film shoots halted in March, was due to be released on Christmas Day this year. Production is expected to restart once it is safe to do so.
“The Nightingale” follows two sisters coming of age in France on the eve of World War II and their struggle to survive the German occupation of France. The story is inspired by the courageous women of the French Resistance who helped downed Allied airmen escape Nazi-occupied territory and hid Jewish children.
Hannah’s book became a hit after it was published in 2015. It has since been published in 45 languages and sold more than 3.5 million copies in the U.S. alone. It has become No. 1 New York Times best-seller and spent a total of 114 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List. It was also named the best book of the year by BuzzFeed, iTunes, Library Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Goodreads and others. [Source]
Gravitas Ventures has taken U.S. rights to 2019 Toronto premiere Sweetness In The Belly, which stars Dakota Fanning in the story of an English child abandoned in Africa.
The distributor will release the film digitally May 8, with theaters set to be closed beyond that date due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Based on the novel by Camilla Gibb, the film was directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari from a script by Laura Phillips. It follows Lilly, who is forced to flee Ethiopia for England when civil war breaks out. She befriends Amina (Wunmi Mosaku), an Ethiopian refugee who has fled the same war. Together they begin a mission to reunite people with their scattered families. Kunal Nayyar and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II also star.
HanWay Films is handling world sales and brokered the deal with Gravitas. The film was produced by Sienna Films and Parallel Films with the support of Telefilm Canada, Eurimages, eOne, Ontario Creates, and Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland. Executive producers include Laura Bickford and Fiona Druckenmiller.
“Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s follow up to Difret is another moving testament to the willful preservation of humanity and decency in the midst of crisis. We look forward to unveiling the film to U.S. audiences,” said Tony Piantedosi, Vice President of Acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures. [Source]
Sony’s “The Nightingale,” starring Dakota and Elle Fanning, and an adaptation of Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” fantasy series, produced by Sony and Amazon Studios, and starring Rosamund Pike, are the latest projects to be hit by the growing spread of coronavirus, with both productions’ European shoots disrupted this week.
Pre-production on “The Nightingale,” from Sony label TriStar Pictures, has been suspended for two weeks in Budapest, while the Prague shoot of “Wheel of Time” was halted, as Central Europe’s biggest production hubs scramble to deal with the fallout of the global pandemic.
Amazon Studios film “Birds of Paradise” has also suspended production in Budapest.
“This is obviously a spanner in the works,” said Matthew Stillman of Stillking Films, who said both Hungary and the Czech Republic were “operating at capacity” before coronavirus began sweeping across Europe. “This is effectively a temporary interruption, but we don’t know how long it’s going to go on for. We’re all a little bit in the dark.”
Just hours after Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis declared a 30-day state of emergency on Thursday, shuttering cinemas, theaters, gyms and other venues, canceling public gatherings of more than 30 people, and banning foreign nationals from 15 countries, his government stepped up its measures Friday afternoon, announcing that it was effectively sealing the country’s borders as of March 16, barring all foreign nationals from entering the country and residents from leaving.
Hungary’s government meanwhile declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, shutting university campuses and banning large gatherings to combat the spread of the virus, which has been confirmed in 19 people in the Central European nation as of Friday.
The Hungarian government has banned incoming travel from Italy, China, South Korea and Iran, and tightened controls along the borders with Austria and Slovenia. The ban on public gatherings affects outdoor events with more than 500 participants and indoor events with more than 100, including cinemas, theaters and nightclubs.
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Sony Pictures has set a Christmas Day release for the drama “The Nightingale,” starring sisters Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning.
Melanie Laurent directed the adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s bestseller, which centered on two sisters struggling to survive while in the French resistance during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. Dana Stevens wrote the screenplay adaptation. Elizabeth Cantillon produced through her production company The Cantillon Company.
“The Nightingale” will open against Paramount/Skydance’s “The Tomorrow War,” 20th Century Studios/Disney’s “The Last Duel” and Universal’s “News of the World.” [Source]
Elle and Dakota Fanning will play onscreen sisters in TriStar Pictures’ adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.
The best-selling novel tells the story of two sisters coming of age in France on the eve of World War II and their struggle to survive and resist the German occupation of France. It was inspired by the courageous women of the French Resistance who helped downed Allied airmen escape Nazi-occupied territory and hid Jewish children.
Melanie Laurent, who worked with Elle Fanning on the drama Galveston, will direct from a script by Dana Stevens. Elizabeth Cantillon is producing through her Cantillon Company banner.
“The Nightingale will be the first time we act on screen together. We have played the same character at different ages but have never spoken to each other in front of a camera. For years, we have looked for a film to do with one another and then this gem appeared,” the Fannings said Wednesday in a joint statement. “As sisters, to share our artistry with each other while bringing such a powerful sister story to life is a dream come true. We are so lucky to have our fearless director, Melanie Laurent, to guide us along on the journey. Let’s do this, sister!!”
Elle Fanning was last in theaters in Disney’s Maleficent sequel, Mistress of Evil, and will next be seen in the Netflix movie All the Bright Places. She is set to star as Catherine the Great in the Hulu miniseries The Great.
Dakota Fanning most recently appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and will next be seen in the TNT series Angel of Darkness.
The sisters are repped by WME, Echo Lake and Hanson Jacobson. Laurent is repped by WME and France’s UBBA. [Source]