Nearly six months on, and the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman still stings enormously. In part, it’s being reminded of his immense talents in movies like “God’s Pocket” and next week’s “A Most Wanted Man,” which were completed before his passing (both premiered at Sundance in January, mere weeks ahead of the actor’s death, and are subsequently hitting theaters). And in part, it’s because of knowing that the 46-year-old actor could have had so much good work ahead of him, had he lived.
One such project: a potential reteam with “A Most Wanted Man” helmer Anton Corbijn. Time just premiered a new featurette on the John le Carré adaptation, and alongside it, Corbijn revealed that he’d hoped that Hoffman would have taken a small role in the director’s subsequent project “Life.” The film, which he began filming only a few months after “A Most Wanted Man” premiered, stars Robert Pattinson as photographer Dennis Stock, and Dane DeHaan as James Dean, focusing on their friendship together.
According to Corbijn, he’d offered Hoffman a small part in the picture, and the actor was “trying to find a way to make it work,” presumably fitting it into his schedule shooting the two-part “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” which Hoffman was filming when he passed away. Joel Edgerton and Ben Kingsley both joined the cast eventually, and it’s not unthinkable that Hoffman could have been mooted for the role that either ended up taking (Edgerton is picture editor John G. Morris, Kingsley studio boss Jack Warner).
There’s a deep sadness to all of these missed opportunities, but particularly given that Hoffman’s performance with Corbijn on “A Most Wanted Man” is one of his finest. Speaking of the film, John le Carré, who penned the source material for the project, has written a moving tribute to the star in the New York Times today, and it’s very much worth checking out. “A Most Wanted Man” goes into limited release next Friday, July 25th, and “Life” is expected to be among the announcements for TIFF and Venice when they arrive next week. Watch the “A Most Wanted Man” featurette below.