Playing an onscreen icon — Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn, for a recent example — is a real mountain for actors to climb, but how about a titan of filmmaking? As Anthony Hopkins works with the persona of Alfred Hitchcock, Variety reports that Wagner Moura (Elite Squad 1 & 2, Elysium) is signing to portray Federico Fellini in Fellini Black and White.

Henry Bromell, producer and occasional writer on Homeland, has scripted and will direct the independent feature, making Fellini his first big-screen effort since 2000’s Panic. Here, he’s zeroed in on the legendary Italian’s March, 1957 inaugural trip to America; this attempt at attending the Oscars will be given a bit of fill-in-the-blank history, since he disappeared for about 48 hours and only made it in the nick of time.

If you were to ask the helmer, Fellini found himself “discovering the jazz and surf scenes and falling for a veterinarian while his wife tries to drown her sorrows by cavorting with Ricky Nelson.” (It’s somewhat implied this could have influenced his next two films, La Dolce Vita and  — works that saw him break from the neo-realist style that had marked much of his career up to that point.) And, in the supporting cast, William H. Macy — who starred for Bromell in Panic — will play his publicist, Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) has been cast as a lover to the vet, and Terrence Howard is locked for the role of a jazz player.

Thus, we have a strong supporting lineup to a film that, from the outset, yours truly finds himself pretty keyed into. Being a great admirer of Fellini is an obvious, immediate boost in interest, but I simply appreciate the idea of playing with his own history a little bit — while still being true to the basic record, of course. Mad Chance are producing the film, which should commence production in the next few months.

Does this initial news have you eyeing Fellini Black and White?

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