Until this morning, Adam McKay‘s Dick Cheney biopic was presumed to be a possible end-of-the-year award-season release. Four and a half weeks ago L.A. Times industry columnist Glenn Whipp included the forthcoming film as one of “ten movies we could be talking about at the 2018 Oscars.”
Now the N.Y. Times‘ Brooks Barnes is reporting that Paramount Pictures and Plan B Entertainment “hope to begin shooting in September,” which almost certainly means a 2018 release.
Barnes’ story conflicts with a 4.5 report by Variety‘s Justin Kroll, which states that “the studio and producers [are] aiming to shoot the movie in the spring for an awards-season push, similar to The Big Short.”
The fastest turnaround in Hollywood history was Otto Preminger‘s Anatomy of a Murder, which began shooting on 3.23.59, wrapped on 5.15.59 and opened on 7.2.59 — three and a half months between the start of principal and the theatrical debut. The Cheney biopic would have to be even faster on the draw if it begins in shooting in early September, especially considering the demands of having to (a) issue screeners of Best Picture contenders and (b) screen them for critics groups in early December.
So which reporter is dead wrong, Kroll or Barnes?
Whenever principal photography begins, McKay’s reported plan to cast Christian Bale as Cheney is a bad idea. The instant I read about it, I said “okay, there goes that film.” You could bury Bale in 37 pounds of make-up and he wouldn’t even begin to resemble Cheney, and I’m sorry but you have to at least slightly resemble the guy you’re playing. When there’s no resemblance whatsoever the suspension-of-disbelief thing goes out the window. If you’re good with Bale as Cheney you’d also be down with Tom Cruise as George Washington, Casey Affleck as Herman Goering, Matt Damon as D.W. Griffith, Adam Sandler as Abraham Lincoln and Rihanna as Hattie McDaniel.
Richard Dreyfuss as Cheney in Oliver Stone‘s W.…cool. Bale as Cheney…ixnay. I don’t like Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld either…sorry. Amy Adams will probably pass muster as Lynne Cheney.