26 September 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Aidan Turner, Sam Neill set to star in Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood
10 Sep 2021 : News Desk
Aidan Turner, Sam Neill among star studded cast for Mr. Shaw Goes To Hollywood
IFTA nominee Aidan Turner (The Hobbit) and Emmy Nominee Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) are set to star in the feature comedy Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood.

IFTA nominee Aidan Turner (The Hobbit) and Emmy Nominee Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) are set to star in the feature comedy Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood, along with Derek Jacobi (Gladiator) as the titular character, Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man), Eileen Atkins (The Crown),  Roger Allam (Endeavour) and Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect).

The movie will explore how celebrated playwright, George Bernard Shaw (Jacobi), visited Hollywood with his wife, Charlotte (Atkins) in 1933. The idea of Shaw’s most successful play, Pygmalion, becoming a film was a hot topic of conversation, and the great and the good of Hollywood competed for his attention, desperate to star in this next big motion picture. Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood examines the Irish-born writer and social reformer’s adaptation to the Hollywood elite and tells the story of what might have happened before the world came to know the play in its guise as a musical, My Fair Lady.

Aidan Turner will play Clark Gable and Sam Neill will be William Randolph Hearst, with Dustin Hoffman playing legendary studio boss Louis B Mayer, co-founder of MGM.

BAFTA nominee Simon Callow (Four Weddings And A Funeral) is set to direct the movie from a screenplay by seven-time Emmy-winner Mark Saltzman (Sesame Street) who had previously scripted a play of the same name. Callow’s second film as director is currently in pre-production, with filming scheduled to start later this year in the UK.

Rhian Williams, Joanne Podmore (You’re Not You) and Rachel Higginson are set to produce the film. Ellen Little alongside Saltzman and Yuri Spiro  is executive producing alongside.

Speaking on the project, Callow said: “Hollywood in 1933 was at the very height of its power, reaching untold millions of cinemagoers across the world, gobbling up the greatest writers, directors and actors, and as often as not spitting them out again. It was a world both stylish and savage, ruthlessly controlled by the studio bosses, among whom Louis B Mayer (Hoffman) was the arch-manipulator. Mark Saltzman’s sparkling screenplay shows us what happens when such a man encounters someone whose work he wants but whose wealth and fame make him unbiddable. Perhaps the greatest celebrity of his time, GBS (Jacobi) runs rings round Hollywood, compelling some of the most legendary figures of movie history to confront themselves and the reality of their situations. We see the brutal truth of what lies behind the elegant, witty surface; it is a spectacle both delicious and sobering.”

Producer Jo Podmore added: “Such clever, cunning and satirical work is a rare find these days. We are hugely fortunate to have attracted some of the industry’s finest and most decorated acting talents to work alongside Simon’s famous sharp wit.  All of which will create a uniquely dazzling and entertaining movie; bringing to life the glamour, charm, back-stabbing and double-dealing of Hollywood’s Golden Age.”

Callow is best known for his acting work both on stage and screen, and his work both as writer and stage director, directing the West End and Broadway premieres of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine starring Pauline Collins, as well as Single Spies by Alan Bennett at the National Theatre and the musicals Carmen Jones, The Pajama Game and My Fair Lady. His feature film debut was The Ballad of Sad Café for Merchant-Ivory, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Rod Steiger.

Further details on filming, production and release are yet to be announced.

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