By Simon Dang | The Playlist September 19, 2011 at 2:04AM
A bit of a sea change is in place for Warren Beatty's Howard Hughes film, his return to the scene after over a decade in the wilderness. After being announced as a Paramount project with studio head Brad Grey expressing their enthusiasm at reuniting with the great actor-director, the partnership has evidently broken down with The Wrap reporting that the project has now been acquired by New Regency.
No details are revealed as to why the switch has taken place though, interestingly, Jeff Wells recalls a comment from producer/journalist Peter Bart (a Paramount exec in the '60s and '70s) who had predicted that Beatty's film "probably won't happen at Paramount" the minute it was announced. Was the partnership doomed from the start? Whatever the case was/is, it's good to see the project picking itself up with New Regency -- a subsidary of Fox, the studio where Beatty's last effort behind the camera, "Bulworth," called home.
Behind-the-scenes drama aside, details about the film remain, for the most part, under wraps. There has been word that “part of the plot involves an affair [Hughes] had with a young woman in the later years of his life" and that it'll depict two time periods character's life but all that's known is that the project has been in the works for over 25 years and is a comedy-drama of sorts with Beatty pulling triple duties as he'll write, direct and star in the project as Hughes. It sounds like a bit of a passion project for Beatty and it comes on the heels of Martin Scorsese's 2005 Hughes film and Christopher Nolan's gestating plans for a Hughes film of his own.
And, as if a return from Beatty wasn't exciting enough, there's already been a string of high-caliber talent linked to Beatty's project with Rooney Mara possibly "locked," with Jack Nicholson, Alex Baldwin, Shia Labeouf, Evan Rachel Wood and, of course, Beatty's partner Annette Benning all also named as potential stars. Fingers crossed, Beatty and the film have a smoother ride from here on in. Production is tentatively slated to begin later this year.