EmptyHannibal Lecter as Big Papa? Anthony Hopkins is loosely attached to "Hemingway & Fuentes," an indie project about the iconic writer that will be written and directed by Andy Garcia.
Garcia, who also will produce via his CineSon Entertainment banner, is co-penning the script with Hilary Hemingway, a screenwriter and author and the niece of Ernest Hemingway. The movie will revolve around the relationship between Hemingway and his longtime fishing-boat captain Gregorio Fuentes.
Annette Bening also could come aboard the project, Garcia said, in the role of Hemingway's wife and widow, Mary Welsh.
Instead of functioning as a biopic, "Hemingway & Fuentes" will take the form of a historical drama, centering on the final, troubled chapter in Hemingway's dramatic life.
The writer spent roughly the last decade of his life in the towns of Cojira, Cuba, and Ketchum, Idaho, a period for which the author is artistically best known for penning "The Old Man and the Sea," the novella about a Cuban fisherman that won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1952.
Garcia said he hopes to explore the psyche of Hemingway, the dynamic with Fuentes and the relationship both had with fishing. "I'm a Hemingway nut and also an avid fisherman, and the reality of the relationship between Hemingway and his captain is compelling to me," he said.
Garcia, who said the project is in its nascent stages, said he aims to star as Fuentes. The captain, who died in 2002 at 104, led a colorful life himself. Born in the Canary Islands, he migrated to Cuba when he was 10; some say he was the model for "Old Man and the Sea" protagonist Santiago, though others have disputed those reports.
Hopkins has played famous writers before, most notably starring as C.S. Lewis in Richard Attenborough's 1993 biopic "Shadowlands."
While Garcia aims to inject in "Hemingway" as much realism as possible, he acknowledged that it would be tricky to film in Cuba given the state of relations between the Caribbean country and the U.S. Garcia directed and starred in 2005's "The Lost City," a story of a Havana nightclub owner caught in the 1959 Cuban revolution, but he shot the pic in the Dominican Republic.
The Paradigm-repped Garcia next appears in "City Island," a family dramedy he produced about a prison guard who discovers that an inmate is his illegitimate child.
Raymond De Felitta wrote and directed that film, which will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next month. Garcia stars wth Julianna Margulies, Alan Arkin and Garcia's daughter, Dominik Garcia-Lorido.
"The beauty of the movie is it straddles the fence, with one leg in the emotional reality of what people are going through and the other in the humor of the situations," Garcia said.
Hemingway is undergoing a renaissance in Hollywood. Tommy Lee Jones is directing, writing and starring in "Islands in the Stream," based on Hemingway's novel about painter Thomas Hudson, for William Morris Independent's film-fund incentive. Last year, John Irvin directed the U.K. indie "Garden of Eden," based on the author's novel about a writer's travels across Europe after World War I. (partialdiff)