Here’s one sure-fire way to ensure that more people hear about your feature-film directorial debut: cast Twilight superstar Robert Pattinson in a key role.
The strategy is being tested by writer-director-actor Brady Corbet, whom Variety reports has cast Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and Tim Roth in his upcoming drama The Childhood of a Leader. Corbet co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Mona Fastvold, who has has the upcoming movie The Sleepwalker set to debut the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The Childhood of a Leader centers on the childhood of a post-World War I leader, but few details outside of that have been revealed. Corbet wants to begin filming in Europe next May.
Corbet broke on the scene in 2009 with the short film Protect You + Me, which took home an Honorable Mention prize at Sundance that year. If you want to get an idea of his style, you can actually watch 10-minute short is below:
Pattinson, meanwhile, continues to find his way in a post-Twilight world. For several years, he was the hottest young star on the planet, riding high on the wave of popularity generated by the sparkly vampire melodrama. But that white-hot spotlight fades over time, and Pattinson’s efforts outside of franchise haven’t exactly lit the world on fire. Box office isn’t everything, obviously, but the performances of Pattinson’s non-Twilight films have been dismal. David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis (which also featured Binoche), for example, earned a paltry $763,556 in the States. Bel Ami, which had a VERY limited release, only took in $120,462. Water for Elephants banked $58.7 million back in 2011, but my point seems to be that Pattinson does not guarantee an audience. The movie also has to be pretty damn good.
Or, you know, you can just ask him to get drunk and sing Karaoke with Katy Perry. Because that’s going to get eyeballs, as well:
Prior to directing, Corbet acted in the indie hit Simon Killer, and recently wrapped performances in Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young, Andrea Di Stefano’s Paradise Lost and Olivier Assayas’ Sils Maria. Busy man. We'll have more about The Childhood of a Leader for you as it develops, but for now, the movie has a solid trio of stars. Let’s see where it goes from here.