This is one of the few times we’ll ever be excited about the role of a graphic designer getting cast in a movie, but when it comes to Saul Bass, there are are exceptions to every rule…
“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” star Wallace Langham has landed the role of the legendary Saul Bass in Sacha Gervasi‘s star-studded “Alfred Hitchcock And The Making of Psycho.” Bass rubbed shoulders with some titans of filmmaking including Stanley Kubrick, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder and more, creating title sequences and poster art that to this day, remains hugely influential (indeed, Google Saul Bass and you’ll get countless homages to his work). However, some of his most iconic efforts were done for Hitchcock, who he worked with on “Vertigo,” “North By Northwest” and “Psycho” — but their creative clashes would mark this film as the last time they would collaborate.
Bass handled the storyboards and title sequence for the film, but was instrumental in constructing the infamous shower sequence and didn’t feel he got enough credit for his contribution. Many contend that Hitchcock followed Bass’ storyboards except for a couple of alterations, but there is no doubt who was on set during the week long shoot for that scene. However, Hitchcock was reluctant to take Bass’ approach at first — which required fast cutting, a technique outside of the director’s usual playbook — and Bass shot a test sequence with Janet Leigh’s stand-in Marli Renfro to prove it could work. So it seems this storyline will come into play in the film.
To recap, this has one helluva ensemble: Anthony Hopkins plays Alfred Hitchock with Helen Mirren as his wife Alma; Scarlett Johansson is Janet Leigh with James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins; Jessica Biel is Vera Miles; Toni Colette will portray the director’s assistant Peggy Robertson, with Danny Huston as Alma’s friend Whitfield Cook and Michael Stuhlbarg as legendary agent and Hollywood figure Lew Wasserman. Michael Wincott will be playing Ed Gein, the real life murderer who inspired the book and subsequent film. Lastly, Kurtwood Smith (aka Red Forman from “That ’70s Show“) will play Geoffrey Shurlock of the Motion Picture Production Code (which became the MPAA).