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Cowboys & Aliens producer Ron Howard reportedly is cherry-picking from Jon Favreau’s sci-fi cast to fill a crucial role in his upcoming Formula-1 drama Rush, which will recount the rivalry between F1 champions James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl).
Olivia Wilde, who played a mysterious frontierswoman tracking her missing kin in Aliens, could be tapped to play supermodel Suzy Miller in Howard’s film, according to Deadline. Miller, at the time of this story, fell for and married Hunt when he was at the peak of his profession. Their romance was short-lived, however, as the stunning beauty eventually fell for Hollywood icon Richard Burton. As legend has it, Burton forked over $1 million for a divorce settlement between Hunt and Miller, and the actor married the model shortly after.
Here’s where things get interesting. Deadline adds that Howard would like Russell Crowe to play Burton in the film. It makes sense as the actor and the director have an outstanding working relationship, having collaborated on Cinderella Man and the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind. (Crowe also bears more than a passing resemblance to the ‘70s-era Burton). While we’re being told that it’s a small part, if scripter Peter Morgan has penned a juicy enough role, we could easily see why it would appeal to Crowe to lend his pal Howard a hand and lend Rush a dash of Oscar-level prestige.
Wilde, in the meantime, can be seen in the ensemble comedy Butter and the sci-fi thriller In Time between now and the end of the year.