Christoph Waltz is to lead the cast of ‘Billy Wilder and Me’.
The James Bond star will play one of the icons of Hollywood’s golden age in the new film from director Stephen Frears.
The movie was announced by legendary producer Jeremy Thomas and is based on Jonathan Coe’s 2020 book ‘Mr Wilder and Me’ with Christopher Hampton adapting the story for the big screen.
The film is set during the summer of 1977 and is a part coming-of-age story, part true-life portrait of the beloved director.
An innocent young woman begins working for the famed filmmaker on a Greek island during the filming of ‘Fedora’ and when she follows Wilder to Germany to continue the shoot, she finds herself joining him on a journey of memory into the heart of the movie icon’s family history.
Production on the project will begin in spring 2023 in Greece, Munich and Paris with the casting of further principal roles to be announced in the near future.
Waltz, a two-time Oscar winner, said: “Billy Wilder said, ‘You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning’. A Stephen Frears movie with a Christopher Hampton script produced by Jeremy Thomas should do the trick for me.”
Frears added: “Europe and Hollywood. Hollywood and Europe. The most interesting dilemma in the cinema.”
Hampton also said: “From the time of our first meeting in Los Angeles in the early eighties, Billy Wilder was extremely kind and encouraging to me.
“Jonathan Coe’s wonderful novel has provided the perfect opportunity to express my gratitude and my admiration for one of the undisputed giants of cinema history.”