The Coen Brothers’ latest film has added three new actors, according to an exclusive in the Hollywood Reporter. Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, and Tilda Swinton are all in negotiations to join the recently cast George Clooney and Josh Brolin in Hail, Caesar!. The film is a is a period comedy set in 1950s era Hollywood, centered around a “fixer” named Eddie Mannix, someone the big Hollywood studios hire to cover up giant PR messes. Channing Tatum’s part is described as “a Gene Kelly-type star,” while Ralph Fiennes is going to be playing Laurence Lorenz, a director for one of the studios, and Tilda Swinton will portray a big time Hollywood gossip columnist. If anyone had told me a few years ago that Channing Tatum would one day star in an Coen brothers movie I might have laughed at them, but he’s proven himself as a pretty decent comic actor lately. Who knew?
In real life, Eddie Mannix worked his way from New York bouncer to being Vice President and general manager of MGM, which was the biggest Hollywood studio by a rather significant margin. But aside from just being Vice President of the studio, he was also the studios’ premiere “fixer” — going in and cleaning up messes so the American public didn’t find out the dirty secrets that Hollywood stars were hiding. Mannix himself was also “tangentially associated” with the death of George Reeves, television’s original Superman. Reeves’ death in 1959 was officially ruled a suicide, but controversy surrounds his death to this day. Reeves’ prints were never found on the gun, and he had been having an affair with Mannix’s wife, Toni Mannix. Whether or not the Coen brothers’ new movie touches on that part of Eddie Mannix’ life remains to be seen.