Elijah Wood Joins Dylan Thomas Biopic Set Fire To The Stars
While "movies about legendary and slightly eccentric writers" isnít exactly the most obvious sub-genre to spring up, cinema has certainly carved out a place for it in recent years, with Kill Your Darlings and On the Road both finding their fans and detractors in the last year or so. The next wordsmith to get the big screen treatment is Dylan Thomas for the film Set Fire to the Stars, which has landed Downton Abbey director Andy Goddard to helm, and Elijah Wood to star as poet and literary critic John Malcolm Brinnin. Thatís right, Wood is joining a film that is neither a thriller or a Middle Earth fantasy.
He will star opposite Welsh actor Celyn Jones (Jo), who will portray the oft-drunk Welsh poet, and also co-wrote the script with Goddard. While the film doesnít appear to be based on any particular biographical work, it will tell the story of the friendship between the men; Brinnin was a major factor in getting Thomas to move to America from the U.K. in the years before his death in 1953.
Things werenít always so swell between the men, as Thomasí drinking and erratic behavior got increasingly worse, a period of time that was detailed in Brinninís 1955 book Dylan Thomas in America. Some critics have derided Brinninís take on things and have even implicated him for playing a part in Thomasí death, though those are mostly ridiculous claims. Itíll be interesting to see how the film handles this complicated relationship.
According to THR, the film will be produced by A.J. Riach (Battle of the Sexes) and will also star Shirley Henderson (Filth), Steven Mackintosh (The Sweeney) and Kelly Reilly (Flight). Providing the filmís score will be Gruff Rhys of the Welsh rock band Super Furry Animals.
This will be Goddardís first feature, though he has made a name for himself on TV directing episodes of series such as Torchwood and Law & Order: UK before taking on several episodes of Downton Abbey. He then made the switch last year to American series Dracula and Once Upon a Time.
Wood has been popping up in a string of horrors and thrillers over the past few years, even starting up his own horror production company. Last year he starred in the discomforting slasher remake Maniac, and heíll be seen throughout 2014 in the suspense-filled Grand Piano, the horror comedy Cooties and the computer-centric thriller Open Windows with ex-porn star Sasha Grey. And of course heíll reprise his role as the nebbish Ryan on the surreal comedy Wilfred when it moves to FXX later this year.
Set Fire to the Stars will not go gentle into that good night when it begins production at the end of the month on location in and around Swansea, Wales and Thomasí home. Are any of you guys out there fans of the "doomed poet?"
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