Natascha McElhone Boards West End ‘Fatal Attraction
natascha_mcelhoneCalifornication‘s Natascha McElhone is set to take on the role of Alex Forrest in the stage adaptation of Fatal Attraction. Written by James Dearden and directed by Trevor Nunn, Fatal Attraction opens at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket on March 25. Dearden was nomiated for an Oscar for writing the 1987 hit film about a one-night stand that turns deadly. This is his first venture into live theater. McElhone’s stage credits include Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Count Of Monte Cristo, The Cherry Orchard and Honour. Veteran director Nunn’s recent theater credits include takes on A Little Night Music, Cyrano De Bergerac, Inherit The Wind, Kiss Me Kate, Birdsong, All That Fall and Scenes From A Marriage. Fatal Attraction is produced by Theatre Royal Haymarket Productions, Robert Fox and Patrick Ryecart. The rest of the cast is due to be announced shortly.

Michael Palin In BBC Drama ‘Remember Me’
michael palinMichael Palin is prepping the Monty Python reunion set for this summer, but he’s keeping busy elsewhere, too. For the first time in 20 years, the actor, comedian, writer and explorer will headline a drama series. The BBC’s Remember Me is a three-part mystery from Gwyneth Hughes (The Girl, Five Days, Miss Austen Regrets) and produced by Mammoth Screen. Palin will play Tom Parfitt, a frail, old Yorkshireman seemingly alone in the world, whose admittance to a nursing home triggers a series of inexplicable events. Also starring are Jodie Comer, Mark Addy, Julia Sawalha and Mina Anwar. Chris Carey (The Ambassadors) is producer. Ashley Pearce (The Accused: Tracie’s Story) directs. Remember Me starts filming this week in the UK for air this year.

Taiwan Lottery Blocks Some Chinese Hits
1Jackie-Police1A group of high-profile Chinese films will not play in Taiwan this year, FilmBizAsia reports. Although there have been rumblings of change in Taiwan’s quota system which only allows 10 movies from the Mainland in each year, legislation has yet to be passed by local politicians. Among the films that made the cut in a lottery for 2014 were A Wedding Invitation and 2013 hit So Young. But movies that didn’t score a slot include Feng Xiaogang’s Personal Tailor, Ning Hao’s No Man’s Land, Zhang Yimou’s Return and Ding Sheng’s Police Story 2013 starring Jackie Chan. FBA says that is one or more of the approved films pull out, then films further down the list may still get a shot at theatrical distribution. That was the case with mega-hit Lost In Thailand which was shut out at first but ultimately got a late November release last year. The restriction does not work both ways; any number of Taiwanese films can be released in China.

FremantleMedia Splits Divisions In The Netherlands
fremantle1`In a bid to increase its drama and entertainment output in The Netherlands, FremantleMedia is making some key shifts. With immediate effect, Willem Zijlstra will oversee all drama production through his label FourOne.Media, while new hire Georgette Schlick will lead the Blue Circle entertainment label. Schlick will work closely with Creative Director Raul Ter Linden, who will continue to drive Blue Circle’s creative output. FremantleMedia CEO, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, said, “In the last few years, our drama and entertainment productions have enjoyed success in this highly competitive market. However, we’ve now reached the stage where we need to split the responsibilities for both genres if we are to grow further.” Zijlstra started his career in media as a scriptwriter at John de Mol Productions and was subsequently Head of Drama at Endemol. In 2006, he started FourOne.Media, which has produced series including S1ngle, The Intern and Levenslied. In 2009, Zijlstra took over responsibility for Blue Circle, producing The X Factor, Holland’s Got Talent and others entertainment shows. Schlick joins FremantleMedia from SBS Broadcasting where she was CEO.

Fox International Channels Hires New COO In South Europe, Africa
fox-international-channels2-93958Fox International Channels Europe & Africa has hired Vera Pinto Pereira as COO of FIC Southern Europe and Africa. Pinto Pereira will work to enhance FIC’s existing relationships with its affiliate partners across the region and focus on new business opportunities. She will be based in Lisbon office. The exec joins from MEO, Portugal Telecom’s pay-TV platform, where she was responsible for the launch of a pay-TV service across four platforms; the creation of Portugal’s first VOD service; the development of leading interactivity experiences on TV over multiple channels; and, the creation of a digital onTV marketplace offering over 40 apps and games.

Turner Eyes Growth In Philippines
turnerTurner International Asia Pacific has appointed Julie Alfaro-Santiago to grow its business in the Philippines. Based in Manila, she joins as Director, Distribution and Client Solutions. “This excellent addition to our team makes a big statement about the commitment to Turner’s in-market presence,” said Robi Stanton, Turner VP of Sales and Marketing, Southeast Asia Pacific. Alfaro-Santiago joins Turner International after 13 years with ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ largest media and entertainment conglomerate.