‘Annette’ with Rihanna and Adam Driver picked up by Amazon Studios

Amazon Studios continues to establish itself as a major player both in Hollywood and the global marketplace. On Wednesday came word that it has picked up domestic distribution rights to “Annette,” a new film from avant-garde French filmmaker Leos Carax. This poet turned director is best-known stateside for “Holy Motors,” a fantasy that reaped nine Cesar Awards bids and won Best Foreign Language Film from the Los Angeles critics.

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The script for “Annette” by brothers Ron and Russell Mael attracted the attention of Rihanna and Adam Driver. He will play a widowed stand-up comedian struggling to raise his daughter. She is taking on the part that was set for Rooney Mara until that Oscar-nominated actress had to bow out due to other commitments. The Maels, who perform as a pop duo under the name The Sparks, have found far greater success in Europe than in their native California.

Rihanna can currently be seen in the A&E series “Bates Motel.” She made her first guest appearance on  Monday night, in an episode titled “Dreams Die First.” The singer won the role of Marion Crane when “Bates Motel” producers discovered that she was a fan of the show in a magazine interview. This is the role that earned Janet Leigh an Oscar nomination for the original Alfred Hitchcock film “Psycho.” The character was murdered by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) rather infamously in that movie while taking a shower.

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Driver is just winding up his six-season run on “Girls.” He has reaped Comedy Supporting Actor nominations at the Emmy Awards for each of the last three seasons for his portrayal of the wayward Adam Sackler. Last year, he earned critical acclaim for his leading role in Jim Jarmusch‘s film “Paterson,” as a mild-mannered bus driver who writes poetry in his spare time. He won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor and reaped bids from both the London critics and the Gotham Awards.


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