August: Osage County keeps upping their own ante, with Benedict Cumberbatch‘s recent casting followed by news that Sam Shepard (Days of Heaven, The Right Stuff) is jumping into John Wells‘ fray of familial anger. Variety brings the update, in which we’re informed he’s being courted for what is, arguably, the movie’s most important role: Beverly Weston, the head of Tracy Letts‘ Oklahoma family whose disappearance and, as they learn, subsequent suicide sparks off its central reunion.
Beverly is described as both an ex-poet poet and current alcoholic, whose obsessions with anything outside the Weston family has left a big bruise on his own kind. You’ve certainly heard that this would include his wife, Violet (Meryl Streep); their oldest daughter, Barbara (Julia Roberts); her own daughter, Jean (Abigail Breslin); another offspring, Karen (Juliette Lewis); and that doesn’t even include his in-laws and such, played by Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Cumberbatch, and Dermot Mulroney.
This is a particularly wise choice because of Shepard‘s domineering screen presence and the aura he still creates when not in the actual frame. (His generally supreme talent is, in that sense, almost an afterthought here.) Now that only a few more players need to be signed, August: Osage County is almost ready to begin shooting this fall and hit in late 2013.
Does Shepard make any difference in Osage County?
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