Up-and-comer Frank Dillane (Heart Of The Sea, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince) has been set to star in Maestro, the adaptation of Peter Goldsworthy’s 1989 bibildungsroman. Catherine Jarvis is directing the pic that starts shooting in the spring in Northern Australia and Vienna. Daniel Harvey and Bow Street Films partners Joe Jenckes and David Dickson are producers. The story centers on a talented pianist who moves to an exotic outpost of 1960s Oz and is forced to learn from the only piano teacher his father can find – an eccentric, enigmatic Viennese refugee with a shadowed past. The piano becomes a battle ground with volleys of Wagner and Hendrix alike thrown between the pair as the young man tries to make sense of his own identity and ambition to become a concert pianist while coming closer to the truth about the Maestro’s past. Casting is underway for the part of the Maestro. Craig Leon is producing original music for the film that will play alongside recordings by Chinese pianist Lang Lang, whose work was highlighted during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony. The soundtrack will be released internationally by Deutsche Grammophon/Universal. Dillane, who was recently cast in writer/director Gerardo Naranjo’s untitled new drama alongside Dakota Fanning, is repped by Michelle Braidman of Braidman Associates and WME.
EOne Films International has closed a series of distribution deals on Berlinale Special title Watermark ahead of tomorrow’s official screening. Directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky, the pic’s about the earth’s relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use. EOne will release in the U.S.; other territories include the UK (Soda Pictures), Australia (Madman), Benelux (Cinéart), German speaking Europe (Senator), and India (Pictureworks).
Stealth Media Group says John Travolta is set to voice the title character in its animated pic Gummy Bear. The $30M 2D and 3D film has a September production start eyed, with director talks ongoing. George Gallo (Bad Boys) wrote the script that sees Gummy and his friends a vegetarian vampire bat, a cat and a chameleon, fighting to save an alien planet from destruction. Producers are Oscar Generale, Jonathan Vanger, and the UK’s Spice Factory.