Born over 125 years ago, the legacy of Buster Keaton endures in everything from Jackass to Jackie Chan. The subject of a lauded new book by Dana Stevens has further renewed interest in the Hollywood icon and now a newly-announced biopic will capture the life of the star.
James Mangold, currently wrapping up production on Indiana Jones 5, will direct and produce the 20th Century Studios film, which will be based on Marion Meade’s 1995 book Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase, Deadline reports. Check out the synopsis of the book below via Amazon.
Buster Keaton (1895–1966) was a brilliant comedian and filmmaker who conceived, wrote, directed, acted, and even edited most of his ten feature films and nineteen short comedies, which are perhaps the finest silent pictures ever made. With a face of stone and a mind that engineered breathtakingly intricate moments of slapstick, Keaton has become an icon of the American cinema. Marion Meade’s definitive biography explores his often brutal childhood acting experiences, the making of his masterpieces, his shame at his own lack of education, his life-threatening alcoholism, and his turbulent marriages. Based on four years of research and more than 200 interviews with notables such as Billy Wilder, Leni Riefenstahl, Gene Kelly, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Irene Mayer Selznik, as well as members of Keaton’s family who had previously refused to discuss him, Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase is a startling and moving account of the troubled life of a cinematic genius.
In terms of who could play Keaton, no one is attached yet, but some have likened Rami Malek and even Jimmy Fallon to the iconic star, but here’s hoping Johnny Knoxville and Joshua Burge at least get a call. For more on Buster Keaton, watch a recent chat with Dana Stevens and Imogen Sara Smith at Film at Lincoln Center: