COLIN FIRTH TEAMS WITH SHAKESPEARE DIRECTOR FOR OPERATION MINCEMEAT: John Madden has signed on to helm a Cannes-bound project penned by Masters of Sex creator Michelle Ashford. Colin Firth will star in the “stranger than fiction” true story set in WWII Europe. The film is set for production later this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “In the context of WWII narratives, the story of Operation Mincemeat is unique – a bizarre and seductive cinematic blend of high-level espionage and ingenious fiction, where the stakes could hardly be higher,” said Madden, who alongside Shakespeare in Love, which won seven Oscars, has directed The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, its sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, plus Mrs Brown, Proof, The Debt and Miss Sloane. “Michelle Ashford’s script fuses multiple strands and moods: tense, romantic, thrilling, unexpectedly funny, and endlessly surprising. It tells a richly human story of the soldiers we seldom see, who fight a different kind of war in shadows and deception, haunted by the knowledge that certainty and guarantee of success are nowhere to be found.”
GOT RATINGS CONTINUE TO SOAR: Ratings for HBO’s Game of Thrones continue to soar in its last season. May 5’s “The Last of the Starks,” managed 11.80 million viewers and a 5.07 rating among adults 18-49 years of age. Compared to the same fourth episode of Season 7, this one was up 16% among viewers.
FAREWELL TRAILER DROPS: Lulu Wang’s The Farewell was much-buzzed about at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and Awkwarina, the star, was hailed for her role, with many dubbing it as a creative graduation for the increasingly high-wattage star. The film follows Billi, a Chinese-born, U.S.-raised writer who returns to her homeland and say farewell to a grandmother who doesn’t know she’s dying. A tagline for the film reads: “Based On An Actual Lie.” The Farewell heads to theaters on July 12.
NBC ORDERS SUNNYSIDE TO SERIES: NBC is ordering the Kal Penn and Mike Schuer immigration comedy, Sunnsyide, to series. Penn stars as Garrett Modi, a disgraced former NYC Councilman hired by immigrants. Diana Maria Riva, Joel Kim Booster, Kiran Deol, Poppy Liu, Moses Storm and Samba Schutte also star.