We know that Angelina Jolie is playing Cleopatra -- if they get the story right. We know that she'd love to join Tim Burton's Maleficent, and play one of Disney's most iconic animated villains. She'd also love to work with Darren Aronofsky, perhaps on Serena, or something else. And to top it off, a Kay Scarpetta film is still in development.
In other words, she's got cinematic opportunities up the wazoo -- good roles with a number of leading directors. But now the rumor mill is adding another project to her ever-growing pile, one that will have her playing one of the biggest names in Hollywood's yesteryear, number seven on AFI's list of Female Legends: Elizabeth Taylor.
WENN claims that "industry reports" pit Jolie against Catherine Zeta-Jones in a fight to play Taylor on the big screen, in a project filmmaker Mike Nichols wants to direct. Both Oscar winners are supposedly in talks to play the icon in an adaptation of Sam Kashner and Nancy Shoenberger's book, Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century. The names surrounding Richard Burton's spot are Russell Crowe, Clive Owen, and Colin Farrell.
I would be inclined to think that this is an all-out rumor from beginning to end, whipped up because of Jolie's involvement with a new Cleopatra and her tabloid image, because none of these people seem right for either role. I'm of the belief that recognizable figures should be played by people who resemble them. To be fair, Josh Brolin surprised us all in W, but on the flip side, her performance may have been Oscar-worthy, but I couldn't clearly look at Reese Witherspoon's June Carter and see anything but Reese.
Jolie looks nothing like Taylor, and while Zeta-Jones is a better visual match, she's nearly double the necessary age. The men range from "almost" to "you've got to be kidding," but at least Burton's face isn't as indelible in the Hollywood memory banks. I would think that for someone like Elizabeth Taylor, whose face is such an iconic part of Hollywood's past, they'd want someone who melts into the role, even if it means passing on a big name.
Should this project actually be rooted in truth, do you have any better casting ideas?