Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen‘s next film, Hail Caesar!, has been in the works for years and will finally hit theaters February 5, 2016, but details are still scarce. We know the story revolves around a challenging day in the life of a Hollywood “fixer” who works to protect the stars of the 1950s studio system. Like all of the Coen Brothers’ films, Hail Caesar! is led by an incredible ensemble cast that includes Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, and Jonah Hill.
The film will also feature a cameo from action star Dolph Lundgren, who recently spoke about his time on set in an interview with Creative Screenwriting. Lundgren spilled some details about his cameo, and a little bit about Tatum’s role too.
It was a bit of a shocker. They called me out of nowhere a few months ago. It’s a movie set in the 1950s called Hail, Caesar! and it’s about the studio system. Basically, one of the characters is going to defect to the Soviet Union because he loves communism because they have great uniforms [Laughs]. That’s Channing Tatum’s character in the movie, and they wanted someone to play a submarine commander. I guess they wanted someone kind of iconic where the audience sees the person and says, “Holy shit!” [Laughs]. So I’m wearing a Russian fur hat and I’m on this huge submarine in Malibu. It was fun to work with them. They were very nice guys, and of course I’m a huge fan of theirs and I never expected to be in any Coen brothers movies, but I guess I am!
It sounds like the Soviet scourge is one of the problems we’ll see “fixed” in Hail Caesar!, and I would expect nothing less from the Coen Brothers. You can’t do a movie about 1950s Hollywood without addressing the Red Scare. As a life-long DTV action devotee, I am a huge fan of Lundgren and he has exactly the right imposing physicality to play a Ruskie submarine commander. And like the best action stars, he knows when not to take himself too seriously.
I love the idea of Channing Tatum (who we last heard described as a Gene Kelly-type film star) in the role of a superficial Hollywood type enamored with the trappings of Communism. Against expectations, Tatum has proven himself a deft dramatic and comedic actor, and no doubt the Coen Brothers will bring their idiosyncratic brand of humor to the topic. I can easily see the scenes built out of that subject matter bringing down the house. The more I hear about this film, the more excited I get.