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Talk about a daunting task: Brazilian actor Wagner Moura has agreed to play famed Italian director Federico Fellini in a planned biopic from Homeland and Rubicon producer Henry Bromwell, who’ll direct and also wrote the script treatment.
Variety says the indie drama, titled Bellini Black and White, will focus in on a very specific time frame in the director’s career. It will be set in March 1957, when Fellini traveled to Los Angeles (his first trip to the States) to attend the Academy Awards on behalf of La Strada. As the story goes, Fellini disappeared for a full 48 hours, and almost missed the Oscar telecast. Where did he go? What did he do? Bromwell’s movie will try to answer that, because when Fellini went back home after this mysterious disappearance, he was inspired to create La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2, two masterpieces of the cinema.
Bromwell already has cast recognizable talents like Terrence Howard, Peter Dinklage and William H. Macy in supporting roles. For now, Moura is best known among action junkies for playing Capitão Nascimento in José Padilha’s Elite Squad. He also has a role in Elysium, Neill Blomkamp’s anticipated follow-up to the outstanding Dictrict 9 that also stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. But playing Fellini in a feature should prove far more challenging, if only because it’s going to be judged more harshly by film fanatics.
Then again, Woody Allen just demonstrated with Midnight in Paris that the right actors can bring heavyweights like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway to the big screen with ease, so we’ll see how Moura manages once Fellini reaches theaters.