Looks like it takes a whole pack of rich guys to make a movie about a billionaire, as Deadline reports that a bunch of them—Ron Burkle and Steve Bing, Terry Semel of Windsor Media, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency, and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment—will unite to finance Warren Beatty’s long-dormant $27.6 million Howard Hughes biopic. Beatty will not only star in but direct and write the motion picture, a look at Hughes’ later years told by the viewpoint of his young assistant (Alden Ehrenreich). Despite rumored appearances in the film by Beatty’s wife, Annette Bening, and Matthew Broderick, the film will reportedly focus on Ehrenreich and Lily Collins as his love interest. (Although IMDB lists the plot as Hughes’ late-in-life affair with a young woman—sounds like Lily Collins will be busy.) Jack Nicholson’s name has also been floated around, but not officially, to avoid jinxing it.
It’s no wonder that Beatty has been so long attached to this project, as he and Hughes shared an affinity for squiring around young starlets, an interest in creating motion pictures, and a tendency to become rather reclusive in their later years. Beatty has been fairly dormant over the past decade or so, as his direction of this as-yet-unnamed effort will be his first behind the camera since 1998’s Bulworth. His previous triple-threat efforts have ranged from the sublime (Heaven Can Wait) to the ridiculous (Dick Tracy); he received a Best Director Oscar for 1981’s Reds. Beatty was last seen on the screen in 2001’s disastrous Town & Country, which could scare anyone away from the movies for awhile, though Goldie Hawn got up, dusted herself off, and walked right into The Banger Sisters.