Being a prestige director must be a pretty good deal. You get an idea for a zippy Hollywood satire, call up your pals George Clooney and Josh Brolin to star, and you’re off and running. But the Coen brothers’ newest project, Hail, Caesar!, has just gotten another infusion of cinematic street cred with the addition of three high-profile actors to the cast. Ralph Fiennes joins the film as Laurence Lorenz, a role that The Hollywood Reporter describes as “a studio director.” Fiennes’ Grand Budapest Hotel co-star Tilda Swinton is slated to play a “powerful Hollywood gossip columnist,” and Channing Tatum is attached to portray a “Gene Kelly-type star.” They join Clooney and Brolin in the account of Eddie Mannix, a fixer who kept A-list stars out of trouble during the 1950s.
Swinton last worked with the Coens in 2007’s polarizing Burn After Reading, but Tatum and Fiennes are newcomers to the filmmakers’ ever-expanding repertory company. With raves for Foxcatcher pouring out of Cannes earlier this year, and Tatum seemingly poised to make a real commitment to higher-minded fare, it’ll be fun to see what the Coens do with his malleable comic presence. The chances of the film ending with Tatum burning down a hotel and screaming about the life of the mind, however, are decidedly slim.