Warren Beatty has not appeared onscreen in a new film since the romantic comedy “Town and Country,” a costly 2001 box office flop. But now, as revealed in the latest issue of Closer Weekly, he’s been working on a new directorial effort, and has come out of retirement to turn his decades-long obsession with reclusive American tycoon Howard Hughes into a movie. The project, according to Closer, focuses on the reclusive mogul’s May-December romance with a young ingenue, played by 25-year-old actress Lily Collins (“Mirror Mirror”).
Tessa Farmiga, Chace Crawford, Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Martin Sheen, Candice Bergen and Beatty’s wife Annette Bening also star. Matthew Broderick tells Closer that the film, which cost $27 million on a 72-day schedule, has finished shooting.
The yet-to-be titled project remains shrouded in secrecy (allegedly only Collins received the full script), but one thing we know for sure is that Beatty himself, 77, will play Hughes, which makes for one pretty big age disparity between the onscreen lovers. Why this particular story? We’ll know more as the production unfolds.
Creatively speaking, why the long silence? Warren Beatty’s late career has been beset by unrealized passion projects as he pursued life outside of Hollywood. In the early 2000s, he chased an adaptation of Scott Thorson’s book about his romance with Liberace, a story that eventually became Soderbergh’s “Behind the Candelabra” for HBO. Beatty also considered directing a “Bulworth” sequel, but that fell through. The Howard Hughes project looks to be his first in awhile to finally achieve lift-off.