Nicole Kidman Takes 'The Railway Man' and 'Before I Go To Sleep'

One is an Oscar baiting post-World War II drama, the other a psychological thriller in the vein of Memento.

Nicole Kidman is noticeably less prolific on our screens these days than she used to be but the Oscar winning actress has just booked herself two notable roles that will keep her busy this year. Due to begin shooting imminently, Kidman will co-star alongside Colin Firth in Jonathan Teplitzky's ("Burning Man") adaptation of Eric Lomax's self-biographical tale "The Railway Man". The Australian beauty replaces Rachel Weisz who dropped out of the prisoner of war tale recently because of required re-shoots on "The Bourne Legacy" and "Oz The Great & Powerful". Kidman takes over the role of Patti Wallace, the wife of the author. He was a Scottish second lieutenant in the British Royal Corps of Signals who was captured by Japanese forces in World War II and sent to a camp in Thailand where he was tortured and made to graft on the Burma-Siam railway seen in "The Bridge on the River Kwai". He married Patti Wallace in 1983 when he was still tormented by his time from the War and through her help he began to overcome his nightmares and eventually write the book upon which this film is based. Wallace took it upon herself to write to the former Japanese officer who was responsible for his torture, and this began a journey for forgiveness which has Oscar bait written all over it. I bet Weisz is pissed she had to drop out. War Horse lead actor Jeremy Irvine plays the younger version of Firth's character in the movie which Frank Cottrell Boyce (Millions, 24 Hour Party People) has adapted for Teplitzky. The Daily Mail reports that filming should begin any day now for the production that will shoot in Australia, Scotland and Thailand. Long time producer Andy Paterson and lead Colin Firth apparantely cornered Kidman at the Oscars this past week and persuaded her to star in the picture which desperately needed a leading lady. The other project is one Variety reported on this past Wednesday. Kidman has entered talks to star in Rowan Joffe's ("Brighton Rock") adaptation of S.J. Watson's psychological thriller novel "Before I Go To Sleep". Just like he did with his "Brighton Rock" remake, Joffe has been developing the screenplay for the past 18 months with the intention to direct himself. The movie is described as "a psychological thriller about a young woman who, after a night of partying, wakes up to discover that she has aged beyond recognition". Sounds like my Friday nights... Before helming his directorial debut Joffe was the screenwriter of Anton Corbijn's "The American" and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's "28 Weeks Later". Housed at Ridley Scott's Scott Free shingle in conjunction with BBC Films and StudioCanal, the film could shoot this year but obviously it will be after "The Railway Man". Apparently the novel is popular and critically acclaimed, somewhat amazingly the best selling novel in America by a first time Brit writer since Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Full synopsis is below for this "Memento" style movie...
Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he's obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis--all the result of a mysterious accident that made Christine an amnesiac. With the encouragement of her doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory every day. One morning, she opens it and sees that she's written three unexpected and terrifying words: "Don't trust Ben." Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion. What kind of accident caused her condition? Who can she trust? Why is Ben lying to her? And, for the reader: Can Christine€™s story be trusted?
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.