ETHAN HAWKE TO PLAY NIKOLA TESLA IN BIOPIC: Ethan Hawke has signed on to play electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla in an upcoming biopic. In Tesla, Hawke reunites with writer-director Michael Almereyda, with whom he worked on Hamlet and Cymbeline.
ALICIA VIKANDER TO STAR IN MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER: Morten Tyldum has recruited Alicia Vikander to star in his adaptation of Karen Dionne’s The Marsh King’s Daughter. The film will follow the story of a woman risking everything to find her dangerous father.
GUILLERMO DEL TORO TO PRESIDE OVER VENICE FESTIVAL JURY: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth) has been tapped to serve as president of the competition jury at the Venice International Film Festival. The 75th annual festival will take place between August 29th-September 8th. Said del Toro: “To serve as president in Venice is an immense honor and responsibility that I accept with respect and gratitude. Venice is a window to world cinema and the opportunity to celebrate its power and cultural relevance.” The jury will select the winner of the Golden Lion award for best film.
NBC’S OLYMPIC RATINGS DOWN: On its first Sunday of production, fewer people tuned in for the 2018 games compared with 2014 and 2010. Early ratings show a 6% drop from the results of 2014, and an 11% drop from 2010, Comcast reports (via Deadline).
DOWNTON ABBEY PRODUCER ADAPTING THE AWKWARD AGE: Carnival Films, the producers behind Downton Abbey, are adapting Francesca Segal’s novel The Awkward Age with the BBC. The story is being hailed as Nick Hornby-like and tells the tale of a widow who falls madly in love, much to her daughter’s distress.