Sunday, June 16, 2024

Waiting for Warren: One Year After Shooting Stopped, Beatty’s “Howard Hughes” Movie in Limbo


Warren Beatty. He’s my all time favorite Hollywood star. Directed one of the greatest films ever, “Reds.” Starred in or directed so many other classics– “Bugsy,” “Heaven Can Wait,” “Shampoo,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Dick Tracy.”

But he moves like a snail. Beatty has a resume with the least amount of credits. He takes his time. That’s ok. He turned down the “Kill Bill” movies with Quentin Tarantino because he couldn’t make up his mind.

Back in 2001, I wrote a story for Premiere magazine about Beatty’s “Town and Country.” Where was it? Would it ever be released?

A year ago, I wrote another story– Beatty’s long awaited Howard Hughes movie had wrapped after 74 days. Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich star with Beatty in a story about Hughes’ late in life romance with a young girl. There are lots of well known names among the cast: Candice Bergen, Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Taissa Farmiga, Oliver Platt.

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And now? Where is this untitled film? Hard to say. Beatty doesn’t return emails. A friend says that he didn’t even mention the movie in a recent conversation. The film is financed by New Regency and RatPac (Brett Ratner and James Packer). So far there’s no studio distribution, although Warren and Amy Pascal did trade one email (according to the Sony hack) that indicated they were talking about it. But a lot has changed since then.

Everyone rooting for Warren would love to see the film at Telluride or Toronto this fall. What a splash! What an event! But there’s always that snail business. “You won’t be seeing a lot of impulsive moves here,” says a friend.

Meantime someone Tweeted out a photo of Lily Collins and Annette Bening, Mrs. Beatty, who’s also in the film recently. It’s not much of a clue, but it’s something.

Stay tuned…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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