EXCLUSIVE: Alec Baldwin is the latest actor to join Warren Beatty‘s untitled Howard Hughes project, portraying the reclusive billionaire’s lawyer Bob Maheu. Beatty has been tapping some of his friends for various roles. Those who have already been reported by Deadline include Martin Sheen, Matthew Broderick, and Beatty’s wife Annette Bening. The two leads are Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures), who plays Hughes’ assistant, and the young assistant’s actress love interest, played by Lily Collins (Mirror, Mirror). The focus of the film is the love story between those two characters. Beatty portrays Hughes.
An interesting note about the real Maheu is that the senior go-to guy for Hughes was widely reported at the time of Hughes’ death to have never actually have seen his boss and received all his instructions on hand-written notes. He was a very interesting man — a spy during WWII, he worked for the CIA and ultimately testified in the Senate about Hughes giving money to Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon. He also sued and won a defamation lawsuit against Hughes in his later years. Baldwin shot his role over two days.
The roughly $26.7M production, which Beatty is also directing, was funded by billionaires Ron Burkle, Steve Bing, Windsor Media’s Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency and James Packer and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment. It’s a $26.7M negative. Ratner and Beatty are producing with Packer exec producing. Regency will be in charge of ww distribution thru Fox. Worldview Entertainment is co-financing the film with Christopher Woodrow and Molly Conners also named as producers. The other casting on the project was Patrick Fischler (Two Guns), who plays a casting director who screen tests and casts Collins’ character.
Baldwin recently signed on as executive producer of Compared to What: The Improbable Journey Of Barney Frank, a documentary about the openly gay ex-Massachusetts Congressman which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. Baldwin, of course, also starred in, and won multiple Emmys for, NBC’s comedy series 30 Rock. The actor, who had a short-lived MSNBC talk show, is repped by CAA.