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Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill Joining Joel and Ethan Coen's 'Hail, Caesar!'

Thompson on Hollywood By Nick Newman | Thompson on Hollywood July 10, 2014 at 10:57AM

The Coen brothers are adding Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill to their story of a corrupt classic Hollywood.

Scarlett Johansson Says "Hail, Caesar!"
Scarlett Johansson Says "Hail, Caesar!"

“Hail, Caesar!” is shaping up as one of the Coen brothers’s finest ensembles. A few weeks after securing Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, and Tilda Swinton — who are joining already-cast alumni George Clooney and Josh Brolin — the production has, according to Variety, two promising additions.

Following a brief collaboration with the Coens on 2001’s “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” Scarlett Johansson is negotiating toclimb on board "Hail Caesar!" along with Jonah Hill, who would return to orbit with his “Jump Street” co-star Tatum. True to some rumored behind-the-scenes shifts made on “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Johansson — here said to have a small part — would portray “an actress who suddenly becomes pregnant as her film is about to go into production.”

Details on Hill’s potential involvement are sketchy. 

A story of classic Hollywood that we can only expect will have plenty of the siblings’ bite, “Hail, Caesar!” puts Clooney in the role of Eddie Mannix, a ‘50s Hollywood fixer who keeps stars in line and sweeps aside salacious details of their personal lives in order to preserve their public image. His "Burn after Reading" costar Swinton will take the role of a powerful gossip columnist. Tatum is a Gene Kelly musical performer, and Fiennes will play Laurence Lorenz, a studio director.

With the support of Universal and Working Title, “Hail, Caesar!” will shoot this fall for a likely 2015 debut.

This article is related to: News, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.