Finding someone to play legendary author Thomas Wolfe (no, not the white suit guy, the other one) is no small feat. He was a large dude (he sometimes wrote freehand putting his paper on top of the refrigerator), a big drinker, and had a voracious appetite for food (and women), but even with all that, he was deeply sensitive, with his not-so-fictional books shining through with pain, wisdom and beauty accrued from his own experiences. And so, the long-attached Michael Fassbender always seemed a pretty inspired choice to play him in “Genius,” but he has exited the project and another actor from across the pond has subbed in.
Jude Law has now stepped into the role of Wolfe, joining Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in the film. Based on A. Scott Berg‘s book “Max Perkins: Editor Of Genius,” the film recounts the real-life relationship between literary giant Thomas Wolfe (Law) and renowned editor Max Perkins (Firth), who developed a tender, complex friendship that changed the lives of both men forever. No word yet on Kidman’s role, but it’s presumed she may be playing Wolfe’s lover and muse Aline Bernstein.
Michael Grandage is making his feature debut on the film, which will start pre-production in August and shooting in October. And with this writer being a huge Thomas Wolfe fan, it’s one I’m watching with a bit of uncertainty, hoping everyone involved pulls it off. And if it gets more people to read Wolfe’s work, well, perhaps that’ll be enough.