News Bits: Miller, Carpenter, Book, Fly, Favor

George Miller
Australian director George Miller has been selected to head the jury at the upcoming 69th Cannes Film Festival running from May 11th to 22nd. Miller was at Cannes last May when Fury Road screened as an official out-of-competition selection.

In a statement, Miller says: “What an unmitigated delight. To be there in the middle of this storied festival at the unveiling of cinematic treasures from all over the planet. To spend time in passionate discourse with fellow members of the jury. Such an honor. I’ll be there with bells on!” [Source: THR]

John Carpenter
Rare is the chance one gets to talk about the work of their heroes, rarer still does one get to do it with the help of some great people. Earlier this week I got to do that, discussing all things John Carpenter with the wonderful Lee Zachariah and Sophie Mayer for their prestigious podcast Hell is for Hyphenates, and the results of that discussion are now online at Hell is for Hyphenates.

The Book
Meg Ryan will re-team with Delia Ephron with Ryan to direct the romantic comedy feature “The Book” which Ephron (“Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “Mixed Nuts”) has penned. The story will be an original work set in the publishing world.

Ryan made her directorial debut on “Ithaca,” a coming-of-age saga about life on the home front during World War II. Ryan and Delia Ephron collaborated on the 1998 romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail” which Delia co-wrote with her sister, the late Nora Ephron. [Source: Variety]

Clouds
Warner Bros. Pictures have acquired movie rights to Laura Sobiech’s inspirational book “Fly a Little Higher”. Justin Baldoni will direct and produce the project, titled “Clouds,” with Casey LaScala and Patrick Kopka adapting the script.

The story focuses on Laura’s late son Zach Sobiech who had a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma. He wrote a farewell song called ‘Clouds’ to his family shortly after turning 18. Sales of the music have since helped fund research of osteosarcoma. [Source: Variety]

A Simple Favor
Fox 2000 has bought the film rights to Darcey Bell’s upcoming murder mystery novel “A Simple Favor”. The story centers on three small-town characters and a bunch of betrayals and reversals involving a mommy blogger, her best friend who disappears suddenly and the latter’s husband. [Source: Variety]