Warren Beatty Courts Garfield, Baldwin, Bening, La Beouf, Nicholson, Mara for Howard Hughes Project

     June 22, 2011

warren-beatty-howard-hughes-slice

We heard on Monday that Warren Beatty made a deal with Paramount to produce, write, direct, and star in a new project after a decade-long hiatus from filmmaking.  At the time, there were whispers this was the opportunity for Beatty to play legendary movie mogul Howard Hughes, a role the actor has long coveted.  Story details are still scarce, but Deadline hears this is indeed a Hughes-centric project that “involves an affair [Hughes] had with a young woman in the later years of his life.”  Beatty’s script is not a biopic, per se.  That is understandable, since Beatty is older now (74) than Hughes when he died (70).  Deadline’s initial report suggested it may be a comedy.

Beatty is going all out to assemble a supporting cast, meeting with Andrew Garfield, Alec Baldwin, Shia La Beouf, Jack Nicholson, Evan Rachel Wood, Rooney Mara, and wife Annette Bening (duh).  Hughes had a lot of famous friends, and I encourage you to match this list of actors to their Old Hollywood counterparts in the comments.  Given Beatty’s age, though, the film presumably takes place during Hughes’ recluse years — I do not know who kept him company at this stage in life.  More after the jump:

howard-hughes-image-02Baldwin, of course, already played Pan Am founder Juan Trippe opposite a fictional Hughes (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) in The Aviator.  Speaking of such conflict, how do you think Christopher Nolan — another filmmaker fascinated by the Hughes legend — feels about this development?

If the film is a comedy, I hope it centers entirely on this incident:

Hughes once became fond of Baskin-Robbins’ Banana Ripple ice cream, so his aides sought to secure a bulk shipment for him—only to discover that Baskin-Robbins had discontinued the flavor. They put in a request for the smallest amount the company could provide for a special order, 200 gallons (750 L), and had it shipped from Los Angeles. A few days after the order arrived, Hughes announced he was tired of Banana Ripple and wanted only Chocolate Marshmallow ice cream. The Desert Inn ended up distributing free Banana Ripple ice cream to casino customers for a year. In a 1996 interview, ex-Howard Hughes communicator Robert Maheu said “There is a rumor that there is still some Banana Ripple ice cream left in the freezer. It is most likely true.” [Wikipedia]

I’d totally watch that.

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