The theater and opera were to the Victorians as movies are to the Modern citizen; a form of escapist entertainment. While many Moderns do not dress to the nines to attend a movie (unless it is a red carpet premiere), it is still an occasion, be it a date or simply a movie you have been eagerly anticipating. The best blend of old and new are modern films that take place in the 1800s.
To this end I am listing six up-coming 19th century flicks. This is a departure from the list of eight that I am known for. I do this movie round up post every other month. However, I’m starting to catch up with the list of what is coming out this year. There are over 30 Victorian-inspired works in Development, but have not progressed further along in the production process. Originally this movie news post stemmed from keeping abreast on Julian Fellowes new endeavor The Gilded Age; an American prequel to Downton Abbey.
The latest from the rumor mill pertaining to The Gilded Age is that it is to be a TV movie, not a series. Lamentation! Not what I want hear. Another source, says it’s definitely going to be a TV series. Gaaaaah! Which one is it?! Now that Mr. Fellowes has concluded his Anthony Trollope’s Doctor Throne via Amazon and his written work, Belgravia, he finally has time to collect his thoughts for The Gilded Age. As a writer, I urge him to go ahead with copious research and well thought out plot with well-drawn characters. As a rabid fan, I want to yell “Well, get on with it! Hurry up! Chop! Chop!” –So conflicted!!
Back to those movies that are supposedly due out some time this year. . . The least we can do is keep tabs on the release dates, but there’s no telling . . .
Coming at you July 1st! Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) plays the titular role of the jungle boy all grown up. All Tarzan movies stem from the 1914 novel Tarzan and the Apes by Edward Rice Bourroughs so there’s that added historical bonus. Granted, it is on record this film is taken from Dark Horse Comic Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street and Suicide Squad) plays the lovely Jane. High adventure to say the least! Be sure to appreciate Skarsgard’s physique as he spent about eight tortuous months building Tarzan’s body. I, for one, am very appreciative. Mmmm hmmm.
Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight)headlines this new action-adventure drama. Roberts has been in everything! Over 400 films under his belt. Yeesh. Oh and he’s Pretty Woman’s brother–he must hate that claim. But it does come out on July 5th. Possibly as a direct to DVD. “It is about a man, Lane McCrae, who sells his soul to the devil to save his dying brother, Cody. Henceforth, he becomes a bounty hunter for the Devil, tracking demons while searching for his brother’s killer. The Devil, however, did not keep his word and Lane’s brother returns as a demon only complicates his search for his brother’s killer.” Naturally, Eric Roberts plays the Devil.
American Murder Song A crime/horror television series coming out later this year (maybe). “In 1816, two Blood Travelers play a game of chance and bring to life a gallery of American killers.” I get the feeling people might burst into song during the course of this program. Honestly, when I first saw it I thought it was the backstory of some American Murder Songs. Like the Lizzy Borden folk rhyme ‘Lizze Borden took an axe: And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done,: She gave her father forty-one.’ That sort of thing, but I’m not entirely sure of the format.
In Sand and Blood
An action, adventure drama starring Russell Crowe. “The epic and terrifying true story of Captain Riley and his crew of the American brig, The Commerce, which was wrecked on the desolate coast fringing the Western Sahara in 1815.” It was slotted to air some time this year, but for the first time there is a little note on my source page claiming “the film has been discontinued.” I have no idea what this means. Will it never see the light of day?? Apparently it is already completed, so I’m not sure what went wrong. It sounds like it would have been a very interesting movie. I guess we’ll have to keep tabs on it and/or do some more sleuthing
This television series debuted back in May but I don’t believe it’s been on the list. “Underground centers on a group of slaves planning a daring 600-mile escape from a Georgia plantation. Along the way, they are aided by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad as they attempt to evade the people charged with bringing them back, dead or alive.” Journee Smollett-Bell (The Great Debaters) stars along side Aldis Hodge (Straight Out of Compton) and Chris Meloni (Law and Order, Man of Steel). This historical drama series has won rave reviews and received a high rating on Internet Movie Database, which is the most accurate gage for film viewers. The show has also been renewed for another season.
Martin Eden is based on the Edwardian novel of the same name by American author Jack London “about a young proletarian autodidactic struggling to become a writer.” The book is supposedly a semi-autobiographic piece. The movie , however, is billed as a romance. The film was supposed to come out this year, but as there are not any cast members listed, I highly doubt it will debut before December 31st. I’m interested to see who will attach themselves to the project.