Warren Beatty to Play Howard Hughes

Madonna, Warren Beatty, Dick Tracy
Madonna, Warren Beatty, Dick Tracy

June 22, '11, update: Warren Beatty used to be known as a Ladies' Man. Before Annette Bening, there were stories about Natalie Wood, Leslie Caron, Jean Seberg, Julie Christie, Diane Keaton, Joan Collins, Carly Simon, Faye Dunaway, Madonna, etc. The same goes for Howard Hughes, whose list included Katharine Hepburn, Olivia de Havilland, Ginger Rogers, Jean Harlow, Ava Gardner, Billie Dove, Bette Davis, Yvonne De Carlo, Gene Tierney, Lana Turner, wives Terry Moore and Jean Peters, and others. Probably not coincidentally, Beatty has always wanted to play Hughes, and he'll now have his chance according to Deadline.com.

For his first directorial effort since Bulworth in 1998 and his first starring vehicle since the critical and box office disaster Town & Country in 2001, Warren Beatty will star as Hughes in his recently announced untitled project for Paramount. The Beatty-Hughes movie, however, will be neither a biopic nor a remake of Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio as the quirky billionaire. Instead, the new film will focus on a relationship between the old Hughes and a much younger woman – it seems while he was married to Jean Peters (though his “official” wife remained Terry Moore). Or perhaps after his 1971 divorce from Peters.

Deadline adds that the Beatty-Hughes project may feature the likes of Annette Bening, Andrew Garfield, Shia LaBeouf, Jack Nicholson, Evan Rachel Wood, Rooney Mara, and Alec Baldwin, who himself had a role in the Oscar-nominated Scorsese movie.

June 20

Warren Beatty, Town & Country
Warren Beatty, Town & Country

Warren Beatty is set to direct, produce and star in a project from an original screenplay Beatty himself wrote. Beatty has joined forces with Paramount, the studio that distributed two of his biggest hits: Heaven Can Wait in 1978 and Reds, which earned Beatty a Best Director Oscar, in 1981.

Beatty hasn't directed a movie since Bulworth in 1998. His last screen foray as an actor was Town & Country in 2001, an expensive critical and box office disaster directed by Peter Chelsom, and co-starring Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Nastassja Kinski.

“Warren's script is quintessential Beatty, elegantly written and wonderfully entertaining,” Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey was quoted as saying in The Hollywood Reporter. “It is our privilege to have one of the great artists in the history of the film industry come home to Paramount.”

The new Warren Beatty project should be going into production later this year.

Photo: Town & Country (New Line Cinema).

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