The Coen Brothers To Direct Hollywood-Inspired Period Piece ‘Hail Caesar’ Next

By May 16, 2014
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No, this isn’t that Expendables spin-off of Terry Crews’ character you’ve been waiting for.

According to Deadline, The Coen Brothers will follow up their ’60s-set musical drama Inside Llewyn Davis with a film called Hail Caesar and be a 1950s-era period piece that follows a Hollywood fixer who works for the film studios and protects the reputations of the biggest actors in the world. Back in the day, actors used to be signed to studios for multiple films in a contract, and if, for example, one of them had a sex scandal leak two movies into a six-picture deal, that attention might not be great for the studio. Studios weren’t opposed to hiring private eyes to keep tabs on their biggest stars and make sure incidents like that didn’t hit the front page, and the Coens’ newest film follows one of the guys who “took care” of those kinds of “problems.”

George Clooney 7438_SIZED

George Clooney has been in talks to star for a long time, and as recently as December, the Coens were convinced he was still going to come aboard – though at this time, no deal has been put in place. This would be Clooney’s fourth collaboration with the writer/directors, after O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Intolerable Cruelty, and Burn After Reading, and if he ends up being cast as the fixer, it would be quite an interesting reversal: Clooney – one of the world’s biggest movie stars – playing a guy who keeps tabs on the world’s biggest movie stars? Very meta.

Deadline also draws a fascinating correlation between the name of the main character and a real-life Hollywood figure. I’ll let them take it from here:

It’s not clear if the Eddie Mannix in the script is based on the man of the same who was a MGM vp, for those of you wondering. The real Mannix was vp and general manager under Louis B. Mayer and Dore Schary. It was Mannix’s wife who actor George Reeves had the affair with. Reeves was later found with a gunshot wound to the head and it was ruled a suicide by the L.A. County coroner’s office but questions have always persisted about the death.

Bob Hoskins played Eddie Mannix in 2006’s Hollywoodland, the biopic of Superman star George Reeves. If this is the same guy, that would add an entirely different layer of drama to this project. Any new movie from The Coen Brothers is worth getting excited about, but I love L.A. Confidential and stories about Old Hollywood, so I’m especially stoked for this one. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.