The Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman is in talks to play the Irish actor’s wife in supernatural revenge film The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Nicole Kidman is in talks to join Colin Farrell in the new psychological thriller from Yorgos Lanthimos.
The Greek film-maker, who made his English language debut with dystopian dating satire The Lobster, has also co-written the project, titled The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Kidman is set to star as the wife of Farrell’s character, a surgeon who is compelled to make a sacrifice after a teenager he has brought into his family starts exhibiting sinister behaviour. There is also reported to be a supernatural element to the film.
The Lobster became an arthouse hit in the US last month and has already made over $5m (£3.5m) after receiving positive reviews at last year’s Cannes film festival. Lanthimos is also set to make The Favourite, a period drama starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, which will focus on Queen Anne during the end of the 17th century.
Kidman was recently seen opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor and Julia Roberts in thriller remake Secret in Their Eyes and with Colin Firth and Jude Law in literary biopic Genius. Later this year, she has roles with Dev Patel in Lion and Elle Fanning in How to Talk to Girls at Parties as well as dark HBO comedy Big Little Lies with Reese Witherspoon and the second season of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake.
This week has also seen news that she is set to reprise her role of scientist Rosalind Franklin in the big-screen adaptation of the acclaimed play Photograph 51.
Sponsors left in a dilemma over tennis star’s ban and allegations against Johnny Depp
It has been a tricky week for brands that rely on celebrities to endorse their wares. An image of Johnny Depp rolling his shirt sleeves up while advertising a perfume named Sauvage has suddenly become a headache for Dior, while Nike, Evian and racket manufacturer Head are all pondering the solidity of their relationship with tennis star Maria Sharapova. Further afield in Hong Kong, protests were held outside Lancôme stores over the company’s cancellation of a concert by Canto-pop star Denise Ho Wan-sze, a known supporter of the pro-democracy movement .
While Nike said it stood behind Sharapova, facing a two-year ban after admitting using a now banned performance-enhancing drug, Dior has so far refused to comment on allegations of domestic violence levelled by Depp’s estranged wife Amber Heard, despite calls from anti-domestic violence groups.
Earlier this month the British charity Women’s Aid said that, should the allegations against Depp prove true, Dior should sever its relationship with the brand. “A responsible fashion house would stop working with a perpetrator of domestic abuse,” the charity said. “The ‘hero culture’ that can surround famous men should not distort our reactions to abusive actions.”
It’s not the first time Dior has run into difficulties. In 2008, then brand ambassador Sharon Stone said that an earthquake in China was the result of “bad karma” over the occupation of Tibet. Dior immediately withdrew Chinese advertising featuring the actress.
Harvard brand professor John Quelch says brands have to go through a complex series of calculations when deciding how to react to trouble with celebrity endorsers. A brand such as Nike may be less sensitive to a consumer backlash because, clearly, Sharapova needs athletic wear to win tournaments, so the company’s credibility remains intact. “If you have market power like Nike, you can set terms that are much tougher because athletes value the endorsementof Nike – it means as much to them as it does to the company. They feed off each other.”
But for brands that are increasingly seen as offering leadership around social issues, the dilemma around celebrities can still be acute. Quelch says Dior would almost certainly have written in a clause for moral turpitude in a contract with any Hollywood star. While a brand can’t write in penalties for box-office flops, they can write a moral turpitude clause that is as broad and sweeping in its lack of definition as possible. “So whatever unforeseen misbehaviour arises, the moral turpitude clause can be activated,” he says. By contrast, a powerful celebrity would seek to limit the moral turpitude clause to specified acts. “That might or might not include hitting your wife.”
But brands do not welcome celebrity endorsers who are likely to express their views on non-commercial issues. In Hong Kong, Lancôme’s parent company L’Oréal was believed to have come under pressure from Chinese authorities to cancel Denise Ho Wan-sze’s engagement over her pro-democracy stance.
But the move proved to be a black eye for the firm as Ho urged fans to stand up against “the white terror that is spreading among our societies”. In a statement, Lancôme said Ho was not a spokesperson of the company and that it was “sorry for the confusion”, citing “possible safety reasons” in cancelling the concert.
The social media and public backlash that followed L’Oréal’s decision highlights difficulties that sponsors are now encountering with celebrity endorsers, says Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the Innovation Group at J Walter Thompson.
“Celebrities are sharing more opinions and pictures on social media to promote their own personal brands. It’s becoming more difficult for brands to control celebrities that are tied into a brand relationship. They’ve got their own independent ways to broadcast their ideas and thoughts.”
Whereas brands could once tightly control the messaging, says Greene, they now have to deal with several streams of commentary. “It’s become far more important for celebrities to have a social media presence and the messages get picked up and spread more quickly.”
Exacerbating that trend, Greene adds, is the politicisation of social media users, including celebrities such as Lena Dunham, the American actor and creator of TV hit show Girls, who use their public platforms to draw attention to issues. In some instances, the importance for celebrities to maintain credibility with their audience is more important than their allegiance to sponsors.
Paul Feig’s female-led Ghostbusters got some support from NBA heavyweights during Game 1 of the Finals, in a likely effort to appeal to male audiences
For a summer comedy, Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot has had a uniquely hard time winning over some prospective audience members – largely because of Feig’s decision to alter the genders of the lead characters. The first trailer racked up more than half a million “thumbs down” votes on YouTube, making it the most disliked in YouTube history. Feig dismissed the controversy over the casting of four women in the lead roles as “vile, misogynistic shit”, while Ghostbusters vet Dan Aykroyd chimed in, praising the revamp as funnier and scarier than the originals.
Now, in a likely effort to lure in male viewers, Sony has paired up with the NBA for a new series of Ghostbusters promotional spots geared to basketball fans.
The two costly looking ads were launched during Thursday night’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals on ABC between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porziņģis appeared in the east coast ad, shot in an empty Madison Square Garden, alongside Walt “Clyde” Frazier and film-maker Spike Lee. West coast audiences were treated to a promo led by recently retired Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant sporting a Ghostbusters jumpsuit at the Staples Center. “They said retirement was going to be boring,” Bryant scoffs in the ad.
Both promos notably don’t feature Feig’s new female quartet of ghost hunters: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.
Sony enlisted Bryant for the gig immediately following his retirement, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He was reportedly heavily involved in the commercial’s scripting process.
In recent weeks, Sony has also targeted female audiences by having the cast appear on Ellen, although the studio was reportedly not pleased when it learned that Hillary Clinton would be featured on the same episode. “All this attention is great, but I hope they realize that Slimer is not a registered voter,” Tom Rothman, chairman of the Sony motion pictures group, said in a statement.
Walk Free Foundation, backed by Russell Crowe, names India as having highest number of slaves in the world
An Australian human rights group, founded by billionaire business magnate Andrew Forrest and backed by Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, has released research estimating that almost 46 million people are living as slaves.
The 2016 global slavery index, funded by Forrest’s Walk Free Foundation, says 45.8 million people are trapped in some form of slavery.
The report ranks incidences of slavery in 167 countries, with India having the highest number of slaves while North Korea has the highest percentage of slaves per capita. This year’s estimates are nearly 30% higher than in the previous report, which estimated 35.8 million people living in slavery in 2014.
Forrest says the rise is partially due to more accurate methodology but he also believes the number of people trapped in slavery is increasing year on year.
“It is time to draw a line and say, no more,” he said. “This isn’t Aids or malaria, it is a man-made problem that can be solved, and it’s time to take real action to free the world from slavery once and for all.”
The index was launched in 2013 after Bill Gates, another billionaire philanthropist, challenged Forrest to quantify the scale of modern slavery. This year’s index was launched in London on Tuesday by Crowe with video messages of support from Tony Blair, Bono, supermodel Karlie Kloss and Richard Branson.
Forrest, who says he found and addressed slavery in his own supply chains, warned businesses that they must step up their efforts to address slavery or face the consequences. He also called on consumers to question their buying habits.
“At one point, it was common to see Australian truck drivers throwing litter out of the windows of their cars because everyone else was doing it. Now, there has been a huge public outcry against this behaviour and it has stopped. The same can be done for slavery,” he said.
“We need to make it unacceptable for people to buy something without asking the company where it was made and who made it and if they can’t answer that question clearly then the next question must be ‘how do you know it wasn’t made with slave labour?’”
Walk Free said slavery is found in all 167 countries in the index, with India home to 18.4 million slaves. This year’s index also claims that over half of the 45.8 million people living in modern slavery are in five countries: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.
It calculated that more than 4% of North Korea’s population is enslaved, with Uzbekistan and Qatar the other countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery per capita.
The index has faced criticism for its methodology and rankings system since it launched. Despite naming 167 countries, this year’s index was based on interviews conducted by pollster Gallup with more than 42,000 people in 25 countries. In some cases, rankings and prevalence estimates are calculated using data from surveys conducted in other countries deemed to have an equivalent “risk profile”.
Kevin Bales, an anti-slavery campaigner who worked on collecting data for this year’s report, said he is “very confident” the estimations were an accurate reflection.
“Over the last few years we have really honed our methodology and have build a solid framework to build on year on year,” he said. “Measuring the problem is a hugely important factor in beginning to effectively tackle this enormous problem.”
Although modern slavery constitutes a huge illegal industry, deemed the third most profitable criminal industry behind drug and arms trafficking by the UN, data remains patchy.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 21 million people are trapped in forced labour and other forms of modern slavery. The index says it hopes to work with the ILO to provide a single set of global estimates.
WHILE Amanda Holden was busy showcasing her boxing skills, her dog was busy overshadowing her with his naughty behaviour.
The pet pooch appeared more interested in her workout partner than watching her sparring.
In the hilarious clip, posted by the Britain’s Got Talent judge on Instagram, Rudie can be seen clutching onto the trainer’s leg as he tried to join in on the action.
Amanda captioned the video: “Rudie got a bit too involved in my @thevikingmethod workout this morning #HUMPIT.”
Fans of the 45-year-old were certainly entertained by the cheeky clip, with one user commenting: “Rudie by name rudy by nature.”
Another added: “Rudie indeed.”
Amanda’s display of her boxing skills come after she admitted to going without underwear in a racy black dress on Up Late With Rylan.
As she made her entrance onto the show, the host told the audience: “Well, just to let the viewers know, Mandy hasn’t got any underwear tonight. So hopefully we won’t get any previews of that tonight.”
She then made sure to rearrange her dress to avoid any awkward wardrobe malfunction, as Rylan joked: “I’m looking directly at it. We’ve got to stop talking about it.”
As she placed a cushion on her lap to avoid flashing viewers, she added: “I won’t do a Sharon Stone – I’m going to stay like this. Well I’m going to keep one eye on it…”
KATHERINE JENKINS and her husband Andrew Levitas enjoyed some quality time together last night as they attended a charity ball in London.
As parents to nine-month-old daughter Aaliyah, the couple no doubt rarely get chance for a night out on the town, but they dressed to impress and looked as stunning as ever as they hit The Dorchester for the Care After Combat Ball.
As per usual, Katherine, 35, put on a jaw-dropping display as she posed in a long black gown which showed off her enviable physique.
The singer teamed the glamorous get-up with a slick of bright red lipstick and some dazzling diamante earrings.
Andrew, on the other hand, looked incredibly dapper in a black suit and bow tie, which he teamed with a crisp white shirt.