John Malkovich won acclaim in 1988 for wearing a wig in Stephen Frears’ “Dangerous Liaisons,” and he’s going that route again in “Casanova Variations.” In case you were wondering what that looks like in this day and age, there’s now a new trailer for this film about the greatest seduction artist of all time.
Directed by Michael Sturminger, who adapted his own stage play (“The Giacomo Variations”), the film tells a pair of stories about Giacomo Casanova, the Italian writer and adventurer who was so famous for his affairs that his name became synonymous with smooth-talking lotharios and womanizers the world over. He was linked to, among others, Marie Antoinette and Catherine the Great. The guy got around.
The live version has been described as “a chamber opera play,” featuring the music of Casanova’s contemporaries like Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte, and that aspect certainly comes through in this trailer. But while this appears to be set in Casanova’s day (he lived between 1725 and 1798), “Casanova Variations” also looks like parts of it take place in the modern world. Is this a kind of play within a play? Or perhaps it’s set behind the scenes of a production of the stage play (which Malkovich also starred in). You see an audience wearing contemporary outfits, a backstage area with an electrical board, and one of the other actors refers to Malkovich as “Mr. Malkovich,” so who knows.
There’s not much information about when we might see “Casanova Variations,” aside from the vague promise of 2015. A few reports said that it could play at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, but that obviously didn’t happen, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
The film stars Malkovich, Veronica Ferres, Florian Boesch, Miah Persson, Anna Prohaska, Maria João Bastos, Lola Naymark, Kerstin Avemo, Kate Lindsey, Fanny Ardant, and Jonas Kaufmann. Watch the trailer below.