How the mighty have fallen… There was a time when Mary Harron was looking like a rare and unique talent in the filmmaking world, particularly after coming off the one-two punch of “I Shot Andy Warhol” and “American Psycho.” But it has been dimishing returns since then, with most of the aughts spent working in television and one feature, the potentially promising but ultimately undercooked “The Notorious Bettie Page.” Last year her vampire flick “The Moth Diaries” dropped with a barely a sound, and now she’s doing Lifetime schlock.
The network who doesn’t know a National Enquirer story they can’t turn into a movie are moving ahead with “The Anna Nicole Story,” with Agnes Bruckner set to portray the late model/reality tv star. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Anna Nicole Smith gained fame as a model for Playboy and Guess? and quickly found her life becoming tabloid fodder after she married an elderly oil tycoon, several decades older than she was. After he died, it sparked a court battle as she tried to claim half of his $1.6 billion estate. But she had a difficult personal life, with her son Daniel tragically dying at the age of twenty, all as she battled rumors about her use of prescription drugs — which she overdosed on herself, leading to her death in 2007.
Anyway, it’s all the stuff of salacious Lifetime fare, and it seems Martin Landau and Virginia Madsen have nothing better to do than to take roles in this. Landau will play J. Howard Marshall, the bilionaire who falls in love with Anna Nicole Smith, with Madsen as her mother Virgie.
This will probably be terrible, but Lifetime knows their niche and are working it well. It’s just too bad people who should know better are getting swept up in it. [Deadline]