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Plot, Cast and Everything Else We Know

Billy Wilder is recognized as one of the most iconic directors of Hollywood’s golden age. Directing classics such as Some Like It Hot, Double Indemnity, and The Apartment propelled Wilder to fame and made him one of the most successful directors in Hollywood. Billy Wilder & Me is described as part coming-of-age and part true-to-life story of the director. Set to give a glimpse into what a certain period of time in the director’s life may have looked like, the part biopic has roused the anticipation of die-hard cinema lovers.

The movie was announced by producer Jeremy Thomas and will be an adaptation of a novel by author Jonathan Coe. Published in 2020, Coe’s novel is titled Mr. Wilder and Me. The source text was received well by critics, with readers calling the novel a particularly moving piece of writing. Given the fact that the movie adaptation will be based on the book, it stands to reason that the film, too, may have the same success as its source text. With the movie still being in pre-production, details remain scarce. However, here’s all we know about Billy Wilder & Me so far.


Billy Wilder & Me: The Plot

Despite Billy Wilder’s renowned reputation in Hollywood, when the director attempted to make a movie in his 70s regarding an aging screen siren being lured out of retirement, the director was rejected by every studio that had once welcomed him with open arms. The occurrence was first adapted into the text Mr. Wilder and Me by Jonathan Coe, with The Observer hailing the book as “satisfyingly sweeping” and regarding it as “a novel to cherish.”

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Now building upon the foundation set by Coe, the movie Billy Wilder & Me will center on the same events that gave inspiration for the book. The official synopsis of the film reads:

“In the summer of 1977, an innocent young woman begins working for famed director Billy Wilder and his screenwriter Iz Diamond on a Greek island during the filming of Fedora. When she follows Wilder to Germany to continue the shoot, she finds herself joining him on a journey of memory into the heart of his family history “

With Wilder’s latest film being shot down, he turns to Germany, which he once left behind, to get the funds he needs to make his movie a reality. The young woman, who knows only little of Wilder and his position in cinema, joins him on his journey, and Wilder opens up to her as they grow closer. Taking viewers back to 1977, the movie is poised to give audiences insight into Wilder’s life and the trials and tribulations he faced.

Billy Wilder & Me: The Cast & Crew

At the time of writing, the only confirmed cast member of Billy Wilder & Me is veteran actor Christoph Waltz. Waltz will play the lead character of Billy Wilder. The actor has previously starred in movies such as Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and Specter. The German-Austrian actor has also been on the receiving end of many accolades, including Golden Globe, Academy, British Academy Film, and Screen Actors Guild awards.

While no other cast members have yet been announced, the team behind the production of the film is noteworthy. Billy Wilder & Me is being adapted onto the screen by the legendary Christopher Hampton and Stephen Frears. Hampton is credited with being an Oscar-winning screenplay writer. The film will be the third project that Hampton and Frears have collaborated on, having previously worked together on Dangerous Liaisons and Cheri. Billy Wilder & Me is being co-produced by the duo Reinhard Brundig and Christos Konstantakopoulous. The movie will be produced by Jeremy Thomas and his production company, Recorded Picture Company.

Talking of the opportunity to The Hollywood Reporter to play the role of Billy Wilder and commending the stellar team behind the making of the movie, Waltz said:

“Billy Wilder said, ‘You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.’ A Stephen Frears movie from a Christopher Hampton script produced by Jeremy Thomas should do the trick for me. ”

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Billy Wilder has long been a widely acclaimed and well-respected director in the cinema industry. Christopher Hampton, talking about his interaction with Wilder, has said how the film will be a way of expressing his admiration for the legendary actor.

“From the time of our first meeting in Los Angeles in the early eighties, Billy Wilder was extremely kind and encouraging to me. Jonathan Coe’s wonderful novel has provided the perfect opportunity to express my gratitude and my admiration for one of the undisputed giants of cinema history. ”

The film clearly has a lot riding on it, including paying homage to an icon of Hollywood. Talking to THR of a dominant theme in the movie, one with many contentions, “Europe and Hollywood. Hollywood and Europe, ”said Frears. “The most interesting dilemma in cinema.”

Release Date

Since the film is still in the pre-production stage, no official release date for Billy Wilder & Me has been announced yet. Production for the film is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2023 and will reportedly take place across Greece, Munich, and Paris.

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