Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far 13 Cult Films About Cults 13 Cult Films About Cults The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

James McAvoy Reading Sacha Gervasi's 'My Dinner With Hervé'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 19, 2011 at 3:45AM

Semi-Autobiographical Film Based On Screenwriter's Last Interview With 'Fantasy Island' Star Hervé Villechaize & His Suicide Shortly ThereafterJames McAvoy certainly has more than a few options for films. The star of the upcoming "X-Men: First Class" will be filming the British crime thriller "Welcome to the Punch" this summer and is being courted by Joe Wright for "Anna Karenina" which will shoot this fall. But he's now eyeing another project that has been generating some heat among young actors around town.
3

Semi-Autobiographical Film Based On Screenwriter's Last Interview With 'Fantasy Island' Star Hervé Villechaize & His Suicide Shortly Thereafter



James McAvoy certainly has more than a few options for films. The star of the upcoming "X-Men: First Class" will be filming the British crime thriller "Welcome to the Punch" this summer and is being courted by Joe Wright for "Anna Karenina" which will shoot this fall. But he's now eyeing another project that has been generating some heat among young actors around town.

We're told that the script is out to McAvoy for "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" director Sacha Gervasi's feature-length follow-up, "My Dinner With Hervé." The actor is one of a handful also interested, but we're told he'll be reading soon and a decision on a lead should be locked down shortly. The film revolves around the last days of Hervé Villechaize, aka Tattoo -- the famous dwarf on TV's "Fantasy Island." Written by and based on Gervasi's true-life experiences, 'Herve' is both personal and semi-autobiographical -- Gervasi was actually the last journalist to interview Villechaize before he committed suicide in 1993. In fact, after essentially telling Gervasi his life story for a magazine feature profile piece and dredging up a lot of his painful past and upbringing, Villechaize killed himself just a few days later.

The writer/filmmaker said a while back, "Herve wasn’t just a pop culture icon; he was one of the most charming, cultured and dangerous people I’ve ever met. His is the story of a unique misfit trying to find his place in the world."

"It's a dinner interview as he flashes back on his life," Gervasi explained in a separate interview about the project and its planned narrative structure. And having read the script -- or at least an early version of it -- that's pretty much the case. In the drama, Gervasi (to be played by the soon-to-be cast lead) is a journo sent on assignment from the U.K. to interview a famous U.S. writer, but then a rival hack steals his assignment and then the embittered writer has to instead interview what is then a very washed-up and in very poor health Villechaize. The relationship is adversarial and Villechaize -- as Gervasi notes in the aforementioned quote -- is dangerous, unhinged and yet charming, affable and smart. Through the course of their dinner interview the diminutive actor reflects back on life and the journo begins to discover a newfound appreciation and respect for the actor's painful life experiences.

A quick bit of trivia: Ryan Gosling had been eyeing the film. He confirmed to us during press rounds for "Blue Valentine" last year that he had been in discussions for the film, but has since moved on. A new draft of the script has just been delivered and the film sounds like it's going to be coming together very shortly. Writer Steven Zaillian and Mandate Pictures are producing through their co-venture Film Rites with Garrett Basch.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, My Dinner With Hervé, James McAvoy


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates