Robert Evans, legendary ’70s studio kingpin and America’s Orangest Man, has seen some things in his time. In between producing “The Godfather,” “Chinatown,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Italian Job,” “The Conversation” and many others, Evans has found time to get married seven times, get convicted for dealing cocaine, plead the Fifth on his alleged acquaintance with a hitman, and write a bestselling memoir, “The Kid Stays In The Picture,” which is sort of like “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” if it had been rewritten as gonzo autobiography.
Naturally, one man doesn’t do all this without becoming a Hollywood legend—Evans is the basis for numerous knowing spoofs, including Dustin Hoffman‘s character in “Wag the Dog” and Martin Landau‘s on “Entourage” (and even a cynical studio boss in Orson Welles‘ unreleased “The Other Side of the Wind”). And naturally, a man as canny as Robert Evans doesn’t become a Hollywood legend without realizing it and playing up to it as much as possible.
Nor does a man as canny as Evans let a trend pass him by: a trend like, say, the huge success of prestigious, period-set cable television series. So really it’s kind of surprising that he’s waited until now to announce that he’s developing a show based, loosely, on his life and career, as Deadline reports. It’s billed as a kind of “Casino”-meets-“Entourage” cable show about the drugs, booze, sex and insanity of ’70s Hollywood, the years in which the collapsing studio systems played out their own version of the fall of Rome, only with the whole “history repeats itself: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce” thing in full swing. It should be immense, indecent fun.