Film pundits were busy speculating how the madcap Tuscan comic and director might fit into a line-up featuring Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page and Alec Baldwin.
The talk was started by deadline.com’s Mike Fleming, who said “I’m hearing that Allen will land iconic Italian director-actor Roberto Benigni to join the ensemble cast. “I believe he’ll be announced as part of Allen’s The Wrong Picture cast at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, where Allen premieres his latest film, Midnight in Paris”.
The cinemablend.com site joined the bandwagon, saying “Woody Allen’s next ensemble piece…is about to get a little more Italian.
“Though Allen and Benigni both lay claim to the prestigious title of Oscar winner, the former’s career has remained steady while the latter’s largely tanked,” cinemablend said. After nabbing a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the 1997 concentration camp tragicomedy Life Is Beautiful, Benigni directed and starred “in an ill-fated Pinocchio tale and then promptly disappeared,” it said. “Allen has a tendency to bring out the best in a performer, so we’ll see how Benigni clicks as a member of an Allen ensemble”.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.