Europe’s two finest actors are converging on a film, and there’s plenty of other reason to hold out hope. It comes from an occasion that’s extremely irritating to deal with, The American Film Market — mostly half-interesting projects that will never get anywhere past conception — but, on a rare occasion, the madness is worth the result.

Look toward an announcement from THR, which announces the reignited development of Genius, a drama based on the working relationship between author Thomas Wolfe (the older one) and his editor, Max Perkins. Not grabbing you right away? Well, those two men will get a wide and classy exposure thanks to portrayals by Michael Fassbender and Colin Firth, respectively. I wasn’t kidding about the hope!

Genius is the screen debut of theater director Michael Grandage, a man who’s very lucky to have this much talent behind him. After all, Fassbender and Firth (what pleasant alliteration) will be working from a screenplay by the never-tired John Logan, who himself has adapted A. Scott Berg‘s book Max Perkins: Editor of Genius. In addition to guest appearances by Fitzgerald and Hemingway, that book gives a candid glimpse inside the working relationship shared between Wolfe and Perkins — one filled with lots of screaming over the lengths of books. Boy, it makes total sense that Sean Penn was once up for the latter spot.

It’s now down to recent Oscar winners and should-have-been nominees — and once-locked Tinker Tailor co-stars — both of whom I always expect nothing but top-notch work from. Getting them to balance with one another — in what sounds like an actor’s showcase, too –is something of a heavenly opportunity, making me all the more hopeful about what FilmNation can do to sell Genius when people come calling.

Does the pairing of these two instantly make Genius something worth your consideration?

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