There’s a lot of Hollywood royalty in this story: “American Horror Story” star Lily Rabe, known to New Yorkers as the best young theater actress, is going to play silent film star Mary Pickford in a new film.
Rabe, of course, is the daughter of playwright David Rabe and the late great actress Jill Clayburgh.
“The First” is being produced by Jen DeLia and Julie Pacino, who is also the daughter of Al Pacino. They’ve been working on this project a long time and now it’s ready to roll. They’ve also got Michael Pitt as ‘Owen Moore’, Julia Stiles as ‘Frances Marion’, Billy Magnussen as ‘Jack Pickford’, Louisa Krause as ‘Lottie Pickford’, Josephine de La Baume as ‘Elsie Janis’, and Ryan Simpkins as a younger ‘Mary Pickford’.
More names are to come soon including D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Adolf Zukor, Samuel Goldwyn, Lillian Gish and Charlotte Hennessy (Mary’s mother).Of course, Lily Rabe’s real life boyfriend and frequent acting partner, Hamish Linklater, would be a great Fairbanks.
DeLia is directing from a script written by her with Josh Fagin.
“The First” will be cast by Bonnie Timmermann and Adrienne Stern, with cinematography by Larry Smith who shot Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, production design by Oscar-nominee Anastasia Masaro, costume design by Amit Gajwani, and hair and make-up design by Oscar-winner Jan Archibald. The production companies are Poverty Row Entertainment, Katsize Films, and IMC Entertainment.
This movie will not be silent, by a long shot. Pickford, Fairbanks, and Chaplin were among the group that founded United Artists Pictures in the 1920s.