By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 13, 2011 at 11:21AM
After what seems like years and years, it appears that we're finally on the verge of something that's been in the works for a while: the arrival of Ryan Gosling as a fully fledged, honest-to-god movie star. The actor might have captured teen hearts in "The Notebook" and picked up an Oscar nomination for his astonishing performance in "Half Nelson," but he's spent the past half-decade since firmly avoiding tentpoles, landing mostly in indie fare like "Lars and the Real Girl" and the wonderful "Blue Valentine," with only one studio outing, the immediately forgotten Anthony Hopkins thriller "Fracture," in the last seven years.
But things seem to be changing. The super-busy star is about to debut his role in minimalist thriller "Drive," directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, at Cannes, and after that he's got a host of mainstream projects lined up from the terrific-looking comedy "Crazy, Stupid, Love." with Steve Carell and Emma Stone and George Clooney's political drama "The Ides of March," to the Warner Bros. crime picture "Gangster Squad" and a reteam with Refn on sci-fi remake "Logan's Run." And now it looks like Gosling's cashing in his chips to get his directorial debut going.
Deadline reports that the actor will not only star in, but also direct, a remake of obscure 1980 Taylor Hackford film "The Idolmaker," a project that's set up at MGM. The film is a biopic of music producer and promoter Bob Marcucci, who managed '50s rock'n'roll stars like Frankie Avalon and Fabian before burning out, although he continued to work in show business, including producing Bill Murray's "The Razor's Edge" in the 1980s.
In case you're wondering: no, we'd never even heard of the Hackford film either, but it turns out that it was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Musical/Comedy, as well as picking up a Best Actor award for its star, the late actor Ray Sharkey. That version, which you can watch a trailer for, complete with terrifyingly-young-looking Peter Gallagher, was lightly fictionalized, but there's no word if Gosling's version will be closer to the truth. We assume that Gosling will play the Marcucci role, but Deadline's story is thin on the ground on details: there's no word of a writer (although it's possible that Gosling will do the script himself), producers, or a start date. Still, we're interested to see if this is a mere vanity project, or if Gosling can follow in the steps of someone like Clooney and prove himself as a director.