A few unorthodox period pieces/biopics are taking form in Steven Soderbergh’s “Behind the Candelabra,” Randal Miller’s “CBGB” and “Jobs” with Ashton Kutcher. And all three are lining up some impressive ensemble casts, so let’s see who is taking over some coveted roles.
First, we broke the news yesterday that Rob Lowe, Cheyenne Jackson and Boyd Holbrook had joined Soderbergh’s farewell film, the Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra.” The long gestating project has had Michael Douglas in the role of the flamboyant performer Liberace, with Matt Damon in the role of Michael Thorson for a while now, with Dan Aykroyd and Debbie Reynolds also on board. And more are coming. Soderbergh’s “The Informant” actor Scott Bakula will be joining the cast to play Liberace’s friend Bob Black. That’s not all though, Nicky Katt – who is no stranger to working with Soderbergh either after being in “Full Frontal” and “The Limey” – will be taking on the mysterious role of Mr. Y. Production is ramping up for this summer with HBO Films backing the project.
Next, it looks like “The Hangover” actor Justin Bartha will be going against type as The Dead Boys lead singer Stiv Bators in “CBGB,” the film that will chronicle the music scene that erupted around the now-defunct rock club in New York City that helped usher in the birth of punk. In an almost “Rock of Ages”-style casting fashion, the film has lined up a bunch of talent along with Bartha, like Malin Akerman as Blondie singer Debbie Harry and Alan Rickman as proprietor Hily Kristal, with “The Twilight Saga” actress Ashley Greene playing Kristal’s daughter. There’s also Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins playing original punk rocker Iggy Pop and “Harry Potter” actor Rupert Grint will join Bartha by playing Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome. Filming starts soon.
Finally, the Steve Jobs biopic “Jobs” is underway with Ashton Kutcher taking the lead role as the late Apple founder and technological innovator. And now, Dermot Mulroney has come on board to play early Apple investor and second CEO Mike Markkula. He joins the oddball cast that includes Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak, Lukas Haas as Daniel Kotke and Ahna O’Reilly as Chris-Ann Brennan. Joshua Michael Stern directs. [Deadline/Variety/Deadline/Deadline]