Just how close is the fictional character to Weinstein? In a trailer for the upcoming production at London’s Garrick Theatre, Hollywood is described as a “hell hole” where “bloated monsters devour the young.”
“Everything in Hollywood is for sale except the awards, which are for rent,” reads the website for the Garrick’s production.
Check out the trailer above.
Mamet’s Bitter Wheat, which the playwright will direct in the Garrick production, will star Malkovich as Barney Fein, described by the theater as, yes, a bloated monster and “studio head, who like his predecessor, the minotaur, devours the young he has lured into his cave. His fall from power to shame is a mythic journey which has been compared to The Odyssey by people who claim to have read that book.”
As suggested by the tone of that description, the new play – a “black farce” is how Malkovich described it to the BBC – is a satire “written and directed by David Mamet in a good mood” (per the Garrick).
Says the Garrick: “Funnier than The Iceman Cometh – more chaos than Richard III, and without all the stupid, so called ‘poetry’. Money, sex, power, you only need one of them to see Bitter Wheat – at the Garrick.”
The West End engagement, running June 7 to Sept. 14, will mark Malkovich’s return to the stage after 33 years.
Malkovich told the BBC that Bitter Wheat “started as reaction to all the news that came out, in particular about Harvey Weinstein” but said the Fein character is not specifically the Miramax co-founder.
“It’s not particularly Harvey Weinstein. It’s a great deal about that business and a great deal about how people in that business, in positions, say, as studio heads, have behaved really for more or less than a century.”
The trailer shows Malkovich, looking heavy-set and moving rather ape-like, clutching a golden award that resembles a female Oscar.
Bitter Wheat also features Doon Mackichan (Plebs) as Fein’s assistant Sondra. Bitter Wheat is produced by Jeffrey Richards and Smith & Brant Theatricals. Additional casting will be announced later.