With lensing now underway on “Hemingway & Gellhorn,” the HBO film starring Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen, the rest of the cast has been rounded up and it’s a pretty intriguing and interesting array of names.
Deadline reports that David Strathairn, Parker Posey, Rodrigo Santoro, Molly Parker, Lars Ulrich (yes, that Lars Ulrich), Santiago Cabrera (“Heroes“), Peter Coyote, Saverio Guerra (“Becker“), Diane Baker and Tony Shalhoub have all joined the production. Phillip Kaufman (“The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” “Quills“) is at the helm, and the film is being produced by ‘Sopranos‘ star James Gandolfini, who put the project together in 2004 with himself attached to star. The biopic will tell the story of the titular Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn who shared a tumultuous relationship and five-year marriage which began after meeting at a local Key West bar in 1936. They married in 1940 after romancing in Europe with Hemingway’s famous novel “For Whom The Bell Tolls” written during that time. Their respective correspondent work, however, meant they spent significant time apart which was ultimately a driving factor behind their divorce in 1945. Both tragically ended their own lives — Hemingway in 1961, struggling with psychological and physical deterioration and Gellhorn years later in 1998 after a long battle with cancer and blindness.
With Owen and Kidman in the lead parts, here’s how the rest slot out: Strathairn will play famous American writer and Hemingway friend John Dos Passos; Parker will play Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline; Posey will play his fourth wife, Mary; Santoro will tackle Spanish loyalist and friend of Dos Passos, Zarra; Ulrich will play Dutch documentarian Joris Ivens; Cabrera will fill in the shoes of famous war photographer Robert Capa; Guerra will play Hemingway’s close friend Sidney Franklin; Coyote will play famed editor Maxwell Perkins; Baker will play Martha’s mother, and Tony Shalhoub is Koltsov, a Russian journalist.
It sounds like some fantastic material and the cast is pretty first rate. In fact, our only reservation is with Clive Owen taking on the larger than life Ernest Hemingway; we’re not quite sure he can pull it off but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. “Hemingway & Gellhorn” will premiere in 2012.