If there’s one thing Hollywood likes almost as much as superheroes, it’s Hollywood itself. Continuing the tradition, a new drama is now in the works telling the story of one of cinema’s most iconic writer-directors.
Variety reports that Stephen Frears will direct Christoph Waltz in Billy Wilder & Me, a drama that follows the Sunset Blvd. filmmaker (as played by Waltz) during the making of his 1978 feature Fedora. Based on Jonathan Coe’s book, as adapted by Christopher Hampton, the film is set in the summer of 1977 and tells both a coming-of-age story and a portrait of Wilder. The film follows an innocent young woman who begins working for Wilder and his screenwriter I. A. L. Diamond on a Greek island during the filming of Fedora. “When she follows Wilder to Germany to continue the shoot, she finds herself joining him on a journey of memory into the heart of his family history,” the synopsis reads.
Frears––who recently completed production on his first film in five years, The Lost King––will embark on the production in spring 2023 in Greece, Munich, and Paris, which means a 2024 release is likely. Hampton noted, “From the time of our first meeting in Los Angeles in the early eighties, Billy Wilder was extremely kind and encouraging to me. Jonathan Coe’s wonderful novel has provided the perfect opportunity to express my gratitude and my admiration for one of the undisputed giants of cinema history.”
As we await more casting, see the trailer for Fedora below.