See The History of American comedy film Hail, Caesar

Hail, Caesar! is a 2016 American comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum, the film follows Eddie Mannix (Brolin), a "fixer" working in the Hollywood film industry in the 1950s, trying to discover what happened to a cast member who vanishes during filming.
First revealed in 2004, the film was originally set to take place in the 1920s and follow actors performing a play about ancient Rome. The Coens shelved the idea until late 2013, when they stated it was in development. Principal photography began in November 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The film premiered in Los Angeles on February 1, 2016, opens wide February 5, 2016 and will open the 66th Berlin International Film Festival on February 11.
Hail, Caesar!
Hail, Caesar! Teaser poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
  • Joel Coen
  • Ethan Coen
Produced by
  • Joel Coen
  • Ethan Coen
  • Tim Bevan
  • Eric Fellner
Written by
  • Joel Coen
  • Ethan Coen
Starring
  • Josh Brolin
  • George Clooney
  • Alden Ehrenreich
  • Ralph Fiennes
  • Jonah Hill
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Frances McDormand
  • Tilda Swinton
  • Channing Tatum
Music by Carter Burwell
Cinematography Roger Deakins
Edited by
  • Joel Coen
  • Ethan Coen
Production
companies
  • Working Title
  • Mike Zoss Productions
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • February 1, 2016 (Los Angeles premiere)
  • February 5, 2016 (United States)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22 million

Premise

Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is a Hollywood "fixer" helping the production of the upcoming film entitled Hail Caesar starring famous actor Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). When a hungover Whitlock is kidnapped by a group named The Future, Mannix is the one in charge of collecting $100,000 and rescuing him.

Cast

  • Josh Brolin as Eddie Mannix, a "fixer" who keeps actors' scandals out of the press.
  • George Clooney as Baird Whitlock, a Kirk Douglas-type  movie star
  • Alden Ehrenreich as Hobie Doyle, an actor and one of Mannix's clients
  • Ralph Fiennes as Laurence Laurentz, a film  director
  • Jonah Hill as Joseph Silverman
  • Scarlett Johansson as DeeAnna Moran, an Esther Williams-type actress who suddenly becomes pregnant as her film is about to go into production
  • Frances McDormand as film editor C.C. Calhoun
  • Tilda Swinton as Thora and Thessaly Thacker
  • Channing Tatum as Burt Gurney, an actor and one of Mannix's clients.
  • Alison Pill as Mrs. Mannix, Eddie's wife.
  • Veronica Osorio as Carlotta Valdez
  • Emily Beecham as Dierdre
  • Christopher Lambert as Arne Slessum, a filmmaker who has an affair with the female star of Hail, Caesar!, the film within a film
  • Fred Melamed as Fred, a Communist screenwriter
  • Patrick Fischler as Benedict, a Communist screenwriter
  • David Krumholtz as a Communist screenwriter
  • Fisher Stevens as a Communist screenwriter
  • Alex Karpovsky as Mr. Smitrovich
  • Clancy Brown as an actor in Hail, Caesar!
  • Robert Picard as Rabbi
  • Dolph Lundgren as a Soviet "submarine commander"
  • Michael Gambon as the narrator

Production

  • Joel Coen – director, screenwriter, producer, editor
  • Ethan Coen – director, screenwriter, producer, editor
  • Eric Fellner – producer
  • Tim Bevan – producer
  • Roger Deakins – cinematographer
  • Mary Zophres – costume designer
  • Carter Burwell – music composer

Development

The idea and title were first suggested by the Coens in July 2004. A comedy film, the story was originally said to follow "a troupe of actors in the 1920s putting on a play about ancient Rome", with the focus on a matinée idol. George Clooney was to play the main character. In February 2008, the Coens said that the film did not have a script, but only existed as an idea. They stated that it would be the third in the "Numbskull Trilogy" with Clooney, following O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and Intolerable Cruelty (2003).
The project was mentioned in a December 2013 interview about Inside Llewyn Davis. Joel Coen revealed that they were "working on" Hail, Caesar!, and that it would likely be their next project. The Coens reconfirmed the film's development in May 2014, with the plot now focused on a "fixer" working in the Hollywood film industry in the 1950s.

Pre-production

In December 2013, the Coens confirmed that Clooney would remain involved with the project. In June 2014, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, and Tilda Swinton joined the cast, Universal Pictures was announced to be distributing the film, and Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan signed on to produce the film for Working Title Films.[3][28][29] In July, Jonah Hill and Scarlett Johansson entered talks to join the production. Johansson would portray "an actress who suddenly becomes pregnant as her film is about to go into production". The next month, Johansson and Hill were confirmed to have joined the cast, and Alden Ehrenreich entered negotiations to star.In a September 2014 interview with The Daily Beast, Frances McDormand said she had a role in the film. In October, Patrick Fischler, David Krumholtz, and Fisher Stevens joined the cast as communist screenwriters, and Clancy Brown joined as an actor in the film within a film, also titled Hail, Caesar! The following month, Christopher Lambert was cast as Arne Slessum, a European filmmaker who has an affair with Johannson's character. In a November 2014 interview at the Ottawa Pop Expo, Robert Picardo revealed that he had a role in the film and that he was set to begin filming in December.

Filming

In October 2014, Roger Deakins posted on his site that he would be the film's cinematographer and was shooting test footage. Principal photography on the film began in Los Angeles, California on November 10, 2014. Filming has been based at the Lot Studios in West Hollywood, California. Locations have included the Los Angeles City Hall, the Los Angeles Theatre and Pasadena. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Coen brothers' decision to film in Los Angeles increased filming activity in the city, which had previously been down by "a double-digit percentage... in the fourth quarter [of 2014]".[ Later the same month, Kate Morgan Chadwick was seen filming with Brolin. Also in November, Emily Beecham was said to have a role in the film. In December, Clooney was photographed in full Roman regalia while filming scenes in Downtown Los Angeles. Tatum dyed his hair blond for his role.

Soundtrack


Hail, Caesar : Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Hail Caesar Soundtrack.jpg
Soundtrack album by Carter Burwell & Various
Released February 5, 2016
Genre Score
Label Back Lot Music
The soundtrack for the film, titled Hail Caesar: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, features the original score by Carter Burwell, and an original song performed by Channing Tatum. The soundtrack will be released via digital download and physical formats on February 5, 2016, by Back Lot Music.
Carter Burwell composed the score for the film, and wrote original songs along with Henry Krieger and Willie Reale.

Marketing

Universal and Working Title released the official trailer on October 9, 2015.On December 29, 2015, the first poster for the film was released. On January 7, 2016, another poster was released.

Release

The film premiered at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles on February 1, 2016 and will be released in the United States on February 5, 2016. The film will open the Berlin International Film Festival on February 11, 2016.The film will be released in the United Kingdom on March 4, 2016.

Reception

Box office

Hail, Caesar! will be released in North America on February 5, 2016, alongside Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Choice. The film is projected to gross around $10 million from 2,231 theaters in its opening weekend.

Critical response

Hail, Caesar! has received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 80%, based on 45 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The site's consensus reads, "Packed with period detail and perfectly cast, Hail, Caesar! finds the Coen brothers delivering an agreeably lightweight love letter to post-war Hollywood." On Metacritic the film has a score of 73 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
IGN gave the film 7.7/10, saying, "Hail, Caesar! may not be one of the Coen Brothers' finest efforts -- and it might not engage viewers beyond Los Angeles or those who truly understand or work in the film industry -- but it's nevertheless a fun, charming, and oft-hilarious take on Hollywood's Golden Age." In a review for The Village Voice, Melissa Anderson praised the performances, but found that the tone and humor of the film "too often goes flat.". A dual-review on Pop Culture Uncovered praised the film's acting and recreation of 1940s Hollywood, but found the plot to be without focus.[

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