The latest Hollywood actor to play a famous painter is Jared Padalecki, who has been cast as still-living artist Thomas Kinkade (aka "Painter of Light"). Though he probably won't go down in cinematic history like Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh, Jeffrey Wright as Basquiat or (yet to be seen) Al Pacino as Dalí, Padalecki will be supported by a possibly memorable performance from the great Peter O'Toole, who will play the artist Glen Wessler, a mentor to the young Kinkade. He will also have the benefit of playing the artist in a trilogy. After the first movie, The Christmas Cottage, which follows Kinkade as a teen on the verge of deciding to become an artist, there will be two more pics portraying the artist as a young man (unless Lionsgate plans to wait years between movies and use Padalecki a la Jean-Pierre Léaud -- which I doubt).

When the news was out that Lionsgate would make a movie based on Thomas Kinkade's painting The Christmas Cottage, I had thought the artwork was simply serving as inspiration for a fictional holiday movie set in the depicted wintry home (Yawn). Now that I know the movie actually focuses on the life of Kinkade I am no more interested, but it at least makes more sense to me. Living commercial artists, especially those as commercial as Kinkade, aren't very worthy of biopic treatment, but Kinkade is so popular that it could attract a lot of his fans. I must point out, though, that as popular as Gustav Klimt is these days (ever been in a female art student's dorm/apartment?), his recent biopic has not been a big success. So, Lionsgate has to do a good job of getting people in seats for Cottage, particularly if they hope for there to be audiences for its two sequels (which paintings will be used for those titles?).