At this point, Paul Dano has accomplished a lot in his still-young career. He’s logged time with auteurs like Paul Thomas Anderson and Ang Lee, starred in strong indie comedies like “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Ruby Sparks,” gone the blockbuster route with “Cowboys & Aliens” and “Knight And Day,” and last year, he dipped his toe into heady sci-fi with Rian Johnson‘s “Looper.” From to drama to romance to comedy, he’s done it all (except maybe horror), but now he’s tasked with the tremendous responsibility of playing one of music history’s most beloved and influential writers and performers.
One of those projects that has been brewing for years, and one we never held our breath believing that it would happen, Dano is set to lead “Love & Mercy,” the Oren Moverman (“The Messenger,” “Rampart“) penned film about Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson. Pretty sweet. And the scope is ambitious. The film will span decades, with Dano playing the younger version of Wilson, with a yet to be cast actor as the older version, in a story that will detail the rise of the Beach Boys, the musician’s fracturing mental health which led to his dismissal from the band, and the love that sustained him through it all. And most importantly, the movie has obtained the life rights from Wilson himself, so it’s able to push forward.
When we spoke to Moverman in Febraury of last year, he shared that the movie would have “an unconventional storytelling approach” that he hoped would help audiences get into Wilson’s head: “to understand how do you get into that kind of genius mind that has all this music, but also all this tragedy, so much pain, so many scars.” Sounds pretty great.
And if that weren’t enough, “The Social Network” tunesmith Atticus Ross will “compose the film’s soundscapes.” We’re not quite sure what that means, but given that the Beach Boys records are headphone affairs, we’re really curious to see how sound will be used in the context of telling Wilson’s tumultuous story. And yes, the movie will have Beach Boys tunes as well.
Producer Bill Pohlad (“The Tree Of Life,” “Into The Wild,” “A Prairie Home Companion“) will be making his sophomore feature on the project that is eyeing a shoot in early summer. And while music biopics can be touch and go, so far this one sounds like it’s taking all the steps in the right direction to be something unique and memorable. [THR]