Are the Coen brothers directing a Wes Anderson film? Only kidding, but you'd be forgiven for thinking so with the announcement of today's new cast additions to the filmmaker siblings' upcoming “Hail, Caesar!”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Coens have tapped Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes for their latest, which also stars George Clooney and Josh Brolin. You can sense from the subject matter and the casting choices that they're leaning in a more broadly comedic direction with this one. They always follow up the more cerebral pieces (“Blood Simple,” “Barton Fink,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Inside Llewyn Davis”) with palette cleansers like “The Big Lebowski” and “Burn After Reading.” This one will harken back to the characters of Hollywood's Golden Age.
Tatum's role is described as a Gene Kelly-type star while Fiennes will play Laurence Lorenz, a studio director. Swinton – God, this is perfect – will play a powerful Hollywood gossip columnist. Clooney, we're supposing, is playing Eddie Mannix, a fixer who works for the studios in the 1950s. But it could be Brolin.
Of course, I say it seems like they're going in a certain direction here, but it could be anything. Clooney has indicated in the past that “Hail, Caesar!” rounds out a sort of screwball trilogy with “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Burn After Reading,” but if it still plumbs the depths of the industry like “Barton Fink” did, it could resonate as more than just a comedy (not that most of the Coens' efforts don't already do this). It would be nice to see the Academy embrace that kind of film.
Anyway, I'm mostly excited for Tatum's potential under the Coens' guidance. Here is a guy who has quickly come into his own in the comedy space and I have a feeling his timing and sensibilities will be perfect fodder for these two.
Tatum can currently be seen in “22 Jump Street,” while Swinton and Fiennes were both recently seen in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”