A little more than a month ago, we wrote about the Coen Brothers’ next movie, called Hail Caesar! (The title has gained an exclamation point since then.) George Clooney was loosely attached to star, and now it appears that his commitment has firmed up: Deadline reports that the Coens will direct Clooney and future Thanos Josh Brolin in the lead roles.
For those of you who missed the initial casting announcement, here’s what I wrote about the synopsis last month:
[The film will 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.”
There’s no official word about who will play what part, but the interesting thing here is that Brolin and Clooney are both so good, they can play just about any role. I can easily see Brolin as the gruff fixer who has to keep Clooney’s movie star character in line, but it’s also easy to see the roles reversed; Brolin cleans up nicely and could be very believable as a womanizing movie star in a ’50s-era tuxedo. Personally, I’m hoping Clooney is the fixer because I think that’d be a more compelling reversal of his real-life persona.
Hiring Brolin also makes this a strange sort of mixture of new and old school Coen Brothers. Clooney starred in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Intolerable Cruelty, and Burn After Reading, while Brolin was in No Country For Old Men and True Grit. I’m guessing there will be a part in there somewhere for John Goodman (an angry studio executive, perhaps?), and with a time period rife with potential, I’m hoping the Coens can pull in as many of their alums as possible.
Are you as excited about Hail Caesar! as I am?
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