Fun Behind the Scenes Facts About Hail, Caesar!
The Coen Brothers' 13th film, Hail, Caesar!, premieres on February 5, 2016. The genre-bending filmmakers take a romp through Hollywood’s Golden Age in the 1950s in what is being billed as a comedy musical. To get ready for the film’s premiere, here are some fun behind the scenes facts about Hail, Caesar!
The movie features Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer for Capitol Pictures. Basically, if there is an issue with any of the major stars from Capitol, Mannix is just the man to make the problem go away. The hitch in Hail Caesar! is that their star, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), has been kidnapped by a mysterious group called “The Future” right in the middle of a major production.
If Josh Brolin and George Clooney aren't enough to get you excited, the film boasts an ensemble cast for the ages. Also appearing in the movie are: Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Christopher Lambert.None of the items on this list are spoilers, so don’t worry about that. Instead, these collected morsels offer some insight into the film’s history and little nuggets of information that any Coen Brothers fan will find compelling.
The Film Is Not Actually a ComedyPhoto: user uploaded imageHail, Caesar! is being billed as a comedy and from the trailers it looks like another wacky Coen Brothers romp. However, the film's composer, Carter Burwell, warned potential spectators that the movie isn't necessarily a straight-up comedy, "I’m quite certain it’s actually going to be quite the opposite,” he said. “It’s going to be rather serious, and it’s about faith. It’s not about the music.”
The Entire Film Takes Place Over the Course of a Single DayPhoto: user uploaded imageThe movie follows Hollywood studio fixer Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) as he attempts to figure out how to work a star out of a monster jam. The length of the narrative unfolds over a one day period.
This Film Completes Clooney's Idiot Quadrilogy with the CoensPhoto: user uploaded imageThe idea for Hail, Caesar! originally came about in 2005 and the Coen Brothers always had George Clooney in mind to star in the movie. Clooney said that the role would cap off his "idiot trilogy" with the directors. He also appeared in O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Intolerable Cruelty. However, Hail, Caesar! was put on hold and Clooney wound up starring in Burn After Reading in 2008. In turn, Clooney's role as Baird Whitlock in Hail, Caesar! actually concludes his "idiot quadrilogy" with the Coen Brothers.
Josh Brolin's Character Is Based on a Real-Life Hollywood FixerPhoto: flickr / CC0Hail, Caesar! is not a biopic or even based on a true story. However, Josh Brolin's character Eddie Mannix is inspired by a real-life Hollywood fixer of the same name. The real Mannix passed away in 1963 from a heart attack. Before his death, he was a general manager for MGM. His main job was to keep celebrities out of trouble, and keep an eye on the studio's finances.
Holy Moly, Is That Ivan Drago?Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BYDolph Lundren, Ivan Drago himself, is in Hail, Caesar! The Rocky IV star was shocked to hear that the Coen Brothers wanted him to play a Russian submarine commander in their movie. However, Lundren totally accepted that the directors most likely wanted him for his WTF/holy crap audience shock factor (aka stunt casting).
The Movie Was Shot on 35mm FilmPhoto: user uploaded imageHail, Caesar! is the first time since 2010's True Grit that the Coen Brothers worked with cinematographer Roger Deakins (he also shot No Country for Old Men and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, among other Coen projects). Deakins typically likes to work in a digital format. However, he used 35mm film for this project, both because of the directors' preference of film over digital, and to add an authentic look, since Hail, Caesar! is set in the 1950s.