Billy Zane spitting image of Marlon Brando in new biopic

Photos of Billy Zane as Marlon Brando have arrived, showing the former perfectly resembling the two-time Oscar winner.

Last Updated on May 24, 2024

billy zane brando

Billy Zane was first cast as Marlon Brando all the way back in 2019 – and things have been pretty much silent for the bulk of the five years that followed. But now, with the movie at this year’s Cannes Market, we finally have a look at Zane as Brando…and wow does he nail it!

Billy Zane’s Marlon Brando is from a pivotal era in the legendary actor’s career, with Waltzing with Brando taking place in the late ‘60s into the early ‘70s, when his work shifted dramatically and he reinvented himself. Appropriately, Zane has entirely reinvented his look to portray Brando. Photos made available courtesy of Deadline fresh out of Cannes show Zane on the island of Tetiaroa, which Brando purchased in the 1960s when he had that “private island money.” Brando took to the region while filming 1962’s Mutiny on the Bounty; other key movies that will also be covered are The Godfather and Last Tango in Paris. One image shows Zane as Brando during this time, complete with longer hair, turtleneck and blazer.

Judging just by these photos, Billy Zane’s Marlon Brando is hands-down one of the best visual representations of a historical figure ever, up there with the likes of Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray, Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy and Denzel Washington as Malcolm X in the namesake film just to name a few. Indeed, if the actual film portrayal can live up to the photos, it might go down as one of the most faithful in movie history.

It’s still quite early, but if Billy Zane can truly pull off Marlon Brando, he could be looking at a Best Actor nomination. After all, voters do love to reward such performances, with six of the past 10 winners being for performances of real-life figures. In the meantime, it’s at least cool to see Zane so committed to the look, which is something that tends to be most criticized in such films, especially if the person is incredibly famous or has a distinct style. (We guess people could overlook the fact that Hugh Jackman couldn’t be farther from resembling P.T. Barnum…)

Billy Zane Brando(1)

Billy Zane may seem like an oddball choice to play Marlon Brando but he does have a fascination with the two-time Oscar winner, telling Entertainment Weekly, “The man was a recluse who moved to an island, yet is up all night on shortwave radio [and] can’t sleep alone. He had many children. It’s like, what led to that? He’s full of contradictions. That was touching to me.”

What do you think of Billy Zane’s Marlon Brando? Which performance of a real-life figure do you think had the most accurate look? Give us your choices below!

Source: Deadline

About the Author

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.