It’s been fun watching the seasoned Woody Allen travel the globe to find the settings (and the funding) for his recent film endeavors. Apart from his 2009 film Whatever Works, all of his last five films (including his Untitled 2010 Release) have taken place abroad. He has continued to direct films in English, which is likely why most of his recent efforts have been set in London or surrounding English cities, but he also got a taste of non-English flavor with Vicky Cristina Barcelona, set in Spain.
Now Woody is getting off the continent of Europe and heading to South America with his next effort. The untitled 2011 project will be set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and is expected to star Brazilian stars and be funded by Brazilian film studios. Two different Brazillian production companies are reportedly looking to come onboard, ConspiraÃ§Ã£o and 02.
As far as stars go it is likely that Woody will give major roles to Brazilian stars Rodrigo Santoro and Alice Braga. It is also rumored that SÃ´nia Braga and Denise Dumont, who appeared in Allen’s Radio Days, will come on board. Allen enjoys significant creative control over the actors and actresses who appear in his films and the ultimate decision is up to him, but traditionally he likes to utilize stars in their native country. He did so brilliantly with Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Regardless of the setting or context, I always look forward to an Allen film. Even though not everyone is a hit, he still is getting actors and actresses noticed (Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and occasionally sneaking in a screenplay nomination (Match Point). In his biography he is quoted as saying that he worries he won’t live long enough to complete all of the ideas he has in his head. It was 30 years ago when he said that, but judging by the rapid speed at which Allen plows through projects, I have a feeling it is still the case.