Not seen on the big screen since 2001’s “Town & Country,” and not having directed a movie since 1998’s “Bulworth,” any Warren Beatty news is cause for curiosity — though optimism is something that you’ll likely want to keep on hold. Remember last year when it looked like he was going to do that Howard Hughes biopic before it went all Spruce Goose? Well it may still be alive. Although, he still has to make sure he can find financing which, in today’s marketplace, is tough. Basically, he would have a better shot at making “Dick Tracy 2” in this climate than anything else.
But nonetheless, it seems to still be brewing. THR was on hand for the star studded L.A. premiere of the forthcoming PBS documentary “Inventing David Geffen,” and among the star-studded crowd was Annette Bening, who updated the trade on what she’s up to next. “I’m not sure the Catherine the Great project I’m in will come together,” she said referring to the Gillian Armstrong comedy she was linked to earlier in the year. “But there’s always ‘Untitled Warren Beatty Project.’ That’s the most important on my slate!”
THR adds that it would feature Jack Nicholson and Owen Wilson, and that it has been developing “for some time” (by some accounts, more than two decades). According to IMDB this untitled movie actually is the Howard Hughes project and indeed, early reports about the film indicated that Nicholson, Bening and Wilson were in the mix for parts (Justin Timberlake and Alden Ehrenreich were some of the guys being tossed around for the young male lead, though none have been solidified).
Also curiously absent is the mention of Felicity Jones, who had landed the lead role and seemed to still be involved when we spoke to her last fall. As for the film, it centers on a woman who first gets involved with Hughes’ driver and confidante, before falling for the man himself, and it has been reported to span two time periods in Hughes’ life. “The story in part is about Howard Hughes, and Warren is Hughes, but the other aspect is two young people who work for him, one of which is my character, and their love story interweaved with their relationship with Hughes, and how he affects both of them,” Jones elaborted for us.
With a budget last reported be somewhere in the $40-50 million dollar range, we’ll see if Beatty can get the money together for this one. But if Bening is chatting it up, perhaps a bit closer to reality? It would be nice to see Beatty come out for one final hurrah.