By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com June 24, 2011 at 1:44AM
We've long suspected that John Krasinski is a much smarter, more talented guy that he's been able to demonstrate so far outside "The Office." His film work has been in pretty awful pictures, on the whole, but he's generally been the best thing in films like "Something Borrowed," "Leatherheads," and "Licence To Wed," and in working with people like Sam Mendes, and directing his own film, the decent David Foster Wallace adaptation "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men," has shown him to be someone who's prepared to take control of his own destiny.
And that's been backed up by the news that broke yesterday: Krasinski is planning for a life beyond "The Office" by pitching the idea of a miniseries adapting Raymond R. Sarlot & Fred Basten's book "Life At The Marmont," which goes behind the scenes at the legendary Hollywood hotel The Chateau Marmont, and the actor-turned-producer has set the project up at HBO. But that's not all: Krasinski has landed the single most in-demand writer around, "The Social Network" Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin, to write the script.
The hotel, seen most recently on screen as the setting of much of Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere," has been a destination for the stars since the 1930s with John Wayne, Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Heath Ledger, Greta Garbo, James Dean and F. Scott Fitzgerald all numbering among the guests, although it's perhaps best known as the scene of the death of John Belushi in 1982. Krasinski lives near the hotel, often using it for meetings, and says "I was staring at the hotel and wondered if there had ever been a project about it."
After research, and obtaining the rights to the hotel from current owner Andre Balazs, the idea has become "To tell the history of Hollywood using the Chateau Marmont as the epicenter," and Krasinski approached Sorkin, who quickly agreed to become involved, his second HBO project in a row, after his currently-filming pilot "More As This Story Develops," toplining Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer.
Krasinski will take a role, and hopes for a mix of stars and unknowns to join him for a series that's expected to be around eight hours long: "My dream is to have a whole slew of great actors -- some very famous and some not famous at all, to make it an homage to Hollywood." Sorkin's involvement makes it a hugely exciting prospect: the idea of the great writer turning his eye to the glamor, and the seediness, of an iconic spot like the Chateau Marmont is a wonderful one, and we can't wait to see how it turns out. The only question is when that'll be: with Krasinski committed to another season of "The Office," and Sorkin likely to be busy with a full series of "More As This Story Develops," barring a disaster of some kind, it's likely this one may be quite a ways off just yet. [Deadline]