By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 7, 2011 at 1:38AM
We'll say this: Vincent Gallo surely doesn't like to shy away from a challenge. In his last film, Jerzy Skolimowski's "Essential Killing," Gallo played Mohammed, a Taliban-like figure on the run from the American army -- who doesn't speak a single word for the entire runtime of the film. Well, for his next project, you won't be able to shut him the fuck up.
Gallo is set to take on two roles -- and speak two languages -- in "The Legend of Kaspar Hauser," an Italian production that isn't a remake of the Werner Herzog film, but is a retelling of the familiar legend.
Davide Manuli will direct the film that is based on the strange but true story about the titular man who showed up randomly in Nuremberg in the early 1800s with stories about being raised in a dungeon, and while educated, having never stepped outside his cell into the world. It's a fascinating story with many contradictory and just plain weird elements. Falling somewhere between conman and tragic figure, Kaspar Hauser remains mysterious until this day. Herzog made a fantastic film out of the tale with "The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser" so the stakes will be high for Manuli to deliver.
Gallo will speak Italian for role of The Pusher and English for the part of the Sheriff. The cast will be rounded out by Claudia Gerini as the Duchess; Fabrizio Gifuni as the Priest; Elisa Sednaoui as the Psychic; with stage actress Silvia Calderoni taking on the title role of Kaspar Hauser in a nifty bit of casting. Production is set to begin next month shooting in black and white, with the film said to be finished by October.
It's certainly inspired but it's a little odd to have one actor play two roles when he's not the central figure of the story -- but maybe this script is told from a different angle altogether. The film has Italian distribution locked in but no word yet on if it will travel stateside, though we figure festival dates are an inevitability with this one.