Yes, I know I’m writing another Allen news piece not even a day after my last one, but I simply could not not cover this (and I swear, the next thing I publish here will only partially be about Allen). Some of the cast members of Woody Allen’s next film had been previously announced, and they included previous Allen players such as Jesse Eisenberg (who did a great job as an Allen surrogate in To Rome With Love) and Parker Posey (delightful in Irrational Man), plus new players like Bruce Willis, Blake Lively, and Kristen Stewart (who will kill it if she’s half as good as she was in Clouds of Sils Maria). But now, the entire cast has been announced, and it’s a doozy. Returning to Allen after playing cinema’s sexiest Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris is Corey Stoll, but otherwise, the cast is full of Allen newbies. There’s Paul Schneider, of All the Real Girls and Parks and Recreation seasons 1 and 2 fame (I think I’m the only one who liked his character), Anna Camp, most recently of both Pitch Perfects, Jeannie Berlin, of the original Heartbreak Kid and Inherent Vice, and Ken Stott, who appeared in The Hobbit movies (I’m not saying he’s “of” The Hobbit movies because no one deserves to be connected like that to them). That’s one hell of a cast (plus Blake Lively), and hopefully Allen doesn’t waste any of them like he’s been prone to doing for some of his movies with bigger casts (oh, how I wish Greta Gerwig got much more to do in To Rome With Love).
Behind-the-scenes, Allen will be working once again with production designer Santo Loquasto, who started with Allen as a costume designer on his early 80s films before handling the design of all of Allen’s films from Radio Days to Melinda and Melinda, plus infrequent films afterwards. He appears to only work on Allen’s films that are shot in the U.S., and this one will be shot in the States (USA! USA!), specifically Los Angeles and New York (this is the first film of Allen’s to even partially be shot in New York since Blue Jasmine). But the biggest news comes from Allen’s choice of cinematographer. For the first time, an Allen film will be shot by three-time Academy Award-winner Vittorio Storaro (The Last Emperor, Apocalypse Now, Reds, Dick Tracy, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, a lot of other great-looking movies). This partnership makes such sense that it seems absurd that it’s taken the two this long to work together, considering Allen’s obsession with hiring gifted foreign cinematographers and the fact that Allen had been in a film shot by Storaro, the unbearably awful Picking Up the Pieces, which I’ve written about at length in an attempt to share my horror about it with the world. While IMDb doesn’t list an aspect ratio, it can be assumed that the film will be shot in 2.00:1, which has been Storaro’s preferred ratio for about 15 years now.
As for minor things like plot, the plot has not been revealed, and neither has the title, although it is listed as a “comedy” by IMDb, and the names of several of the characters are listed there as well. This could be the first Allen film to feature a character named “Kat”, although I could be wrong about that. The film will premiere in 2016, along with Allen’s TV series for Amazon. As for why Darius Khondji is not shooting this film, I can only assume it’s because he’ll be shooting The Lost City of Z when this starts production in a month, and no, I am not giving hope on this, goddamnit.