Deadline is reporting on the new project from Stephen Frears, the director of Dangerous Liasons, The Queen and Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight. Frears is set to make Wilder & Me, which will be a screen adaptation of Jonathan Coe’s popular novel Mr. Wilder and Me. The screenplay for the film will be penned by two-time Oscar winner Christopher Hampton (The Father), with Oscar winner Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor) producing the film. Frears has assembled his impressive cast for the film, which will include Christoph Waltz as legendary movie director Billy Wilder, who has helmed such films as Some Like it Hot and The Apartment. Waltz is set to be joined by Maya Hawke, Jon Hamm and John Turturro.
According to Deadline, “The story starts out during a heady Greek summer, and sees Calista fall in love with cinema and life on a journey of self-discovery. Thrilled by her new adventure, Calista follows Wilder to Munich and Paris to continue the shoot with leading actor William Holden, and experiences her first love. Realising his star is on the wane, Wilder navigates the changing world of cinema in the twilight of his career, while Calista’s career is just beginning. The time she spends in this glamorous, unfamiliar new life will change her forever.”
Hawke will be playing Calista, a young musician whose life will change after it takes on a whole new meaning while working on the set of Billy Wilder’s film Fedora. Turturro is set to play his lifelong friend and screenwriting partner I.A.L. Diamond. And Hamm will play the famed actor William Holden. The production is set for an early 2025 shoot in Greece and aims to take advantage of the Greek locations originally used by Wilder.
Frears expressed his excitement for working on the film, “This is the most wonderful project. Wilder was sharp, clever and very very funny. And he directed Marilyn Monroe twice! Christoph Waltz will be magnificent. I always go by the script and this one is terrific.” Hampton would add, “Wilder And 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; 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.”