After hearing about sudden casting mix-ups and a change in financier, it seemed as though Warren Beatty‘s Howard Hughes-centered film had hit the skids. Arguably no great loss, but it would have at least been interesting to see what the long-absent filmmaker and actor had concocted for his return; the fact that it’s about the later, crazy years of Hughes‘ life is another bonus.

The project could very easily never see the light of day, but Deadline tells us that he’s picked a new female lead, Like Crazy‘s Felicity Jones. She’s been picked in the wake of a process that reportedly saw multiple actresses in her age range meet with Beatty about the role. The strong reviews her performances in this month’s romance certainly helped push things forward. This part — which Rooney Mara was essentially ready to do a few months ago — is that of “a young woman who develops a relationship with Hughes’s young driver and confidante, before she falls in love with Hughes.” My Week with Howard?

Other actors are being pursued right now, among them Annette Bening, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin, and Owen Wilson; the lattermost of those is the only name who hasn’t been mentioned as a contender from the beginning. Meanwhile, the young Howard Hughes role vacated by Andrew Garfield is being considered for “names ranging from Justin Timberlake to Alden Ehrenreich.” Those are two names I’d approve of; I guess the other selections are more crucial to hear, then. Shooting is said to begin next year — but, still, I’m not wholly confident in this making it before cameras.

Would you like to see Jones star for Beatty? Does the film still seem like a real possibility?

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