Last week, we reported that Rachel McAdams would be joining the cast of Cameron Crowe’s next untitled film—which is said to be a in the heartfelt vein of Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire. The news was a welcome relief after the disappointment of his last few films, features I found terribly unsubstantial, leaving my love for the wonderful writer and director waining. Having grown up on Crowe’s early and middle films, they taught me something profoundly important about creating a narrative that’s both cinematic and deeply emotional—but always honest and unmerciful. And the other day, Cinephilia and Beyond posted the most delightful gem—a photo from the original script for Jerry Maguire, marked up with notes from Tom Cruise himself, advising Crowe as to liken to his own ridiculous suggestions.
You can see the script page HERE but while you’re into it, you should also read this fantastic article documentating the making of the film written by Crowe for Rolling Stone‘s 1996 December Issue—The Jerry Maguire Journals. See the article in its entirety HERE but tak a look at some what he had to say about working with Cruise:
… He carried the script in a black notebook with multicolored page markers for easy access. Layer by layer, Cruise began to strip down to the part that many had told me he would never play – a loveable, lost loser on the rebound. As he mentioned to me one day, “I have a piece of paper near the mirror, and I see it every day. It says, ‘Relax.’ If I’m loose, I can go places I’ve never been before as an actor. Any time you want, just tell me to relax. It’ll help.” I would have to tell him to relax only a couple of times. Each time he tried something wild and loony. Those takes are not in the movie, but the next ones are.
…Cruise’s process of deconstructing was entertaining to watch. If the scene required him to be out of breath, he would jump rope furiously just before a take and then quickly say, “Let’s go.” If the take required him to cry, he would take as long as necessary, sitting alone, sometimes listening to music on a Walkman, reaching into places that clearly wrenched him to visit. The level of his commitment to the part was constantly surprising to me as a director. As a writer, I was often floored.
“Your words, man,” he said, “You spent three and a half years on this script.”
…Every picture of me directing Jerry Maguire looks pretty much the same: I am holding pages from the script in hand, and the pages are mostly filled with scribbled notes about how each line could be played. My intense devotion to the script was matched, sometimes outdistanced, by Cruise’s. The mirror in his hair and makeup trailer was plastered with photos from each of his previous movies. The idea was to look different, to be different, in Jerry Maguire. A real turning point came early, while we were filming the scene where Jerry has been fired and he rushes back to the office to make phone calls, attempting to win back his clients.
Growing up, Cameron Crowe’s middle films were some of the first movies I remember falling in love with. Almost Famous, Jerry McGuire, and even Vanilla Sky have always held a remarkably fond place in my heart as wonderfully told narratives that showed me how cinema could really reach down deep and make me feel. But in recent years, I’ve found myself less than thrilled with his work—Elizabethtown and We Bought a Zoo begging the question: has this director whom I once adored so much lost the magic that fueled him from the start? But no, I’m hopeful.
And now, Deadline reports that the untitled project he is currently prepping with Sony Pictutes—slated to star Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone—has now attached Rachel McAdams to the leading cast. It’s a timely announcement as Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder twirls its way into theatres tomorrow, with McAdams in a brief but memorable role alongside Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko. Personally, the scenes with her character in Malick’s meditation on divine love and foregiveness, were my favorite, holding the most wright of any of the moments shared between characters.
But anyhow, in Crowe’s upcoming film, McAdams looks to play a former love of Cooper’s character and although plot details have yet to be revealed, Deadline goes on to report that the film is "funny and romantic, with a tone similar to past Crowe films Jerry McGuire and Almost Famous." Well good, that’s all I can hope for and will certainly be keeping a close eye on this one.
We’ve all seen the initial casting options for The Godfather, but what’s even more unfathomable than Dusty Horffamn playing Michael Corleone is the recently revealed original sign-in sheet from the first day of auditions for The Office, a list which is totally cool and hilarious to think about.
Rainn Wilson posted a photo of the list on Facebook yesterday, saying, "This is the original sign-in sheet for the first day of casting for The Office given to me by Allison Jones, our incredible casting agent…I was the very first person to audition for the series, 11/06/03. Notice all the amazing talent on the sheet, including the amazing #13! This is perhaps the greatest Office keepsake I have. So grateful for the best job I will ever have"—signed "Rain ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’ Wilson."
It’s hard to imagine a Dwight Schrute more ridiculous and wonderful than Wilson but if there was ever man to take it over it’s pretty great to imagine it as UCB legend Matt Besser in the role. Mary Lynn Rajskub was one of the options for Pam, which totally makes sense, but Hamish Linklater has Jim?! Nope! Adam Scott, okay yeah maybe but then would he ever have found his Leslie Knope?
And where would Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Steve Carell, and whole cast be right now if they handed landed the role? Would Wilson always be remebered as that dud who worked at Rolling Stone in Almost Famous or for his creepy stint as Arthur Martin on Six Feet Under?