Well folks it’s official I’ve had another great film idea stolen right out from underneath me. It started with Spielberg stealing my concept for a film about the Munich Olympics in 72 and then he stole my idea for a Lincoln biopic. Now, Ms. Mira Nair has broken my creative heart by making the long overdue modern telling of the life of Amelia Earhart. And as if it isn’t bad enough the multi-Oscar winning actress Hilary Swank has signed on the portray the late Ladie-Lindi.
If I had my druthers it would be the lovely Cate Blanchett that’d be playing Amelia, just because I’ve always imagined her doing the role. That is if I was directing, that’s not to say that Swank won’t do a terrific job because she is amazing. If there was ever a number 2 choice for the role in my mind Swank would be it, but Blanchett is a natural blond, which is close to red, and I feel would be a better fit.
Mira Nair is an outstanding filmmaker and has several quality pictures under her belt, most memorably Mississippi Masala, The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding, and my personal favorite Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon. Nair never chooses crap projects to take on which assures an audience that if she is directing, it must be a worthwhile film. Her latest venture Amelia, I’m sure will be an extremely well made movie.
Perhaps you are a little soft on your Earhart history timeline, I’m sure you know that she disappeared in 1937, and that she was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The truth is, the story of this woman’s life is so amazing and bewildering that I’m truly shocked it has taken so long for a modern film to be made about her. It’s one of the great-untold American stories that has a terribly bazaar and tragic ending. What could be more cinematic than the life and disappearance of Amelia Earhart.
Amelia was married to her business manager and promoter George Putnam in 1931 and apparently always had a bit of a rocky and distant marriage. Nevertheless, Putnam is a towering historical figure who was singularly responsible for creating and generating the popularity and media buzz surrounding the aeronautical activities of Earhart. It was he that put together the promotions that would ignite the passion and love the people would have for Amelia. A high-powered Hollywood name would have to be attached to this project to portray Putnam, and indeed there is. Richard Gere has signed on to play the role of the legendary promoter and I must say I’m satisfied with this casting choice.
Some people can’t stand Richard Gere but I love him. Most recently he was in two relatively unseen films, one was even discussed here on Cityzine, it was The Hoax. The true story about a bullshit biography about Howard Hughes, the other was The Hunting Party about the war in Serbia/Yugoslavia between the Serbs, Croatians, and Muslims. Gere plays a washed-up journalist trying to get the story of a lifetime and capture a fugitive Serb warlord. Not to mention all the other Gere films that are terrific, I say another great casting choice, and the film seems to be off to the races.
Amelia has a tentative release date of 2009, nothing more specific than that available right now. I say take your time Mira and make sure to get it right. There are so many conspiracy theories surrounding her disappearance that I’m wondering which way Nair is going to go. Will she be captured and killed by natives or the Japanese, did she change her identity and live out her life on some exotic island, or did she crash land into the Pacific and die, sinking under the deep blue waves never to be heard from again. The list goes on and on, we’ll just have to wait until sometime in 2009 when the film will be released to know exactly what angle they eventually decided on.
Whatever Mira goes with I’m sure it’ll be worth the price of a ticket, it’s the very least we can do to pay tribute to this legendary and haunting American woman. Not enough female filmmakers get the proper amount of attention and admiration that they should. Mira Nair I would say falls firmly under this category and as long as we’re talking about it, obviously women throughout history have gotten the short end of the stick, and while Amelia was insanely popular and well known in her own lifetime, in the years since her passing she has significantly dropped of the social radar. It’s apparent to me in that it has taken so long for Hollywood to recognize this fact and give her what she’s had coming for quite some time now. See Ya.