Every six months or so, someone else is trying to make their own film about a Beach Boy. (You know I’m generalizing, right?) To compete with the still-unshot Dennis Wilson biopic is Love & Mercy, a Brian Wilson project gaining some big steam courtesy of none other than Paul Dano. THR have updates on the project, also telling us Bill Pohlad — Tree of Life producer who’s giving the job another crack after his little-seen outing from the early ’90s — will put himself behind the camera, while The Messenger and Rampart director Oren Moverman has penned the script. What do you know? This sounds like a real thing.
Their work is said to cover some typical avenues that this kind of story offers — joining The Beach Boys, writing some classic songs, the like — but, eventually, explores darker territory — namely, struggles with mental health and how this impacted his marriage. Such a delivery, described by THR as “off-the-beaten-path,” will require Dano to play the younger, more creative Wilson, and an older actor to show what’s happened in the later days. Further pushing their highlighted intent, I think, is the hiring of Atticus Ross, who’s breaking from Trent Reznor — creative partner on The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — to construct a sound design which, when mixed with the man’s own music, creates a more understandable portrait of descent.
Added together, some of my own initial reservations — Dano, who doesn’t seem exactly correct for the part; Pohlad, a completely anonymous entity as a director; and a general issue with musical lives being put on film — hold a lot less water. The vision sounds like it’s worth putting onscreen, and, with a summer commencement on their mind, we could have an answer in reasonable time. God only knows, you might say.
Are Brian Wilson’s experiences enough to make an interesting film, especially with this team in place?
Latest posts from The Film Stage