Helen Mirren will be sticking to political material for her next film, which will be set in the Gaza Strip. Mirren will play a Jewish woman, one of the last few left in the Strip. Her journalist daughter is romantically involved with a Palestinian, and is shot and killed. I imagine the project will deal with the aftermath of that tragic event -- the film is said to be "much more a human interest story rather than a political one." When BBC correspondent Alan Johnston was kidnapped, the filmmakers realized working in Gaza was going to be far too risky, so filming will take place in Jordan. Mirren raised a few eyebrows when it was announced that she'd follow up her Academy Award-winning performance in The Queen with a role in National Treasure: Book of Secrets, so this one should get her some "street cred" back. You know Mirren's all about the street cred!
The as-yet-untitled film was written by Frank Deasy, who wrote the astoundingly bad adaptation of Prozac Nation with Christina Ricci. Deasy says the new film "is inspired by events in Gaza and not by any particular real incident." Deasy has worked with Mirren before; he wrote Prime Suspect: The Final Act, the TV film which starred Mirren as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison. The team on that one must have gotten along swimmingly, because that film's director -- Philip Martin -- will take on the Gaza Strip movie as well. Mirren also has a supporting role in an upcoming family/fantasy/adventure called Inkheart, with Brendan Fraser and Paul Bettany. And hey, if you guys want to see The Queen in something absolutely insane, let me recommend (?) Shadowboxer. It's not good necessarily, but if you've ever wondered what graphic, thrust-heavy sex between Oscar winners Mirren and Cuba Gooding, Jr might look like, it's probably gonna be your only opportunity.