Stevadore sends us the news that Anthony Hopkins will play Ernest Hemingway in a film called “Papa”. The film will depict the friendship between Hemingway and a young Korean War correspondent who looked up to him. They meet in Havana (Hemingway’s home base, in the years just before Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution), and Hopkins apparently gets to act up a storm in depicting the despair of an aging writer contemplating his eventual suicide.
Hemingway lived a cinematic life, but Anthony Hopkins is an old guy and obviously won’t attempt to reach into the author’s picturesque adventures in Europe and around the world in his booming 20’s and 30’s. It sounds like a talky film, which doesn’t jibe with my understanding of the Hemingway essence. In lit-film heaven, Orson Welles circa “Citizen Kane” would nail this role. Anthony Hopkins? I don’t know — it’s a stretch. The last famous face Hopkins tried to inhabit was Richard Nixon in Oliver Stone’s “Nixon”, and I don’t think he pulled off the transformation.
Hopkins as Hemingway. I’m not too hopeful — what about you?