Wilder & Me | Maya Hawke joins Christoph Waltz in Stephen Frears’ film drama

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Maya Hawke and Jon Hamm have joined Christoph Waltz in the starry cast for Stephen Frears’ upcoming drama, Wilder & Me.

Stephen Frears (Victoria & Abdul, The Lost King) has managed to assemble quite a formidable cast for his upcoming drama, Wilder & Me, based on Jonathan Coe’s novel Mr Wilder And Me.

Christoph Waltz has long been cast in one of the title roles as the legendary director Billy Wilder, who wrote and directed some of America’s all-time great films across his long career – Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment... we could go on, but there’s a news post we ought to be getting on with.

Wilder & Me’s other major role, though, has gone to Maya Hawke, who’ll play the young composer Calista (essentially the ‘Me’ of the title). The film will be set during the latter stages of Wilder’s career – specifically in late 1970s Greece, during the making of the director’s penultimate film, Fedora, released in 1978. The story follows Calista’s experiences as the production moves from Greece across Europe, with Calista at the start of her career while the film’s makers and stars near the end of theirs.

Deadline, which as the exclusive on the casting, reports that Jon Hamm will play an ageing William Holden, who was about 60 by the time he made Fedora, while John Turturro will star as I.A.L Diamond, the screenwriter who collaborated several times with Wilder – he won an Oscar for his work on The Apartment in 1960.

Christopher Hampton, who previously wrote Dangerous Liasons and Cheri for Frears, has written the adapted screenplay, and hints at a wistful, melancholy tone. “Wilder & Me is the story of veteran film-makers in the 1970s, beginning to realise the extent of the changes within the industry and the ways in which they have failed to move with the times,” Hampton told Deadline. “It’s about the memories that haunt an émigré on his return to the boneyard of Europe; and it shows how an open-minded younger generation can draw inspiration from the giants of the past.”

It sounds absolutely corking, doesn’t it? Filming is said to be getting underway this year, so we’ll let you know when we hear more.

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