"Lovelace," from "Howl" team Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.
Volcanoes. Asteroids. Truman Capote. What do these things all have in common? That's right, competing movies with the same subject matter released at the same time. There's no logic or reason for how certain themes end up in the zeitgeist -- there was a time a year or two ago where there were three biopics of John DeLorean in development, for instance -- but for whatever reason, it keeps on happening, and there's usually only one winner. For every "Dante's Peak," there's a "Volcano," for every "Armageddon" there's a "Deep Impact," and for every "Capote" there's an "Infamous."
Next up in the cinematic thunderdome? Biopics of "Deep Throat" star Linda Lovelace, whose impressive lack of gag reflex saw her become a porn megastar, only for her to sink into drugs, before becoming a spokeswoman for the anti-pornography movement. In the blue corner, we've got "Lovelace," from "Howl" team Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, which recently landed Amanda Seyfried as the title character, and Peter Sarsgaard as her one-time husband Chuck Traynor (after Kate Hudson and James Franco circled the project). And in the red corner there's "Inferno" from Matthew Wilder which courted Lindsay Lohan, before she proved to be too unreliable, and was replaced by "Watchmen" star Malin Akerman, with Matt Dillon attached to play Traynor.
With both films set to shoot in January, more casting announcements are on the way, and "Inferno" is the first to fill out its supporting cast, with The Hollywood Reporter announcing that veteran star Sharon Stone has come on board to play Lovelace's mother, who, among other things, forced her to give up her child for adoption.
The actress is no longer the A-lister that she was in the 1990s (she was last seen in a significant big screen role in 2006's "Bobby") but has a potential comeback role on the way, alongside Christopher Walken, John Turturro and Oliver Platt, in the comedy "Gods Behaving Badly" and it's a pretty solid casting idea to have her play the mother of Akerman. "Inferno" is firmly in second position as far as we're concerned, principally because of Akerman, who's been great in comedies, but dreadful in more serious fare like "Watchmen," and the unknown quantity of Wilder at the helm. But it's entirely possible that it could end up surprising.