You might remember this little political satire that came out almost ten years ago. The premise: When a presidential candidate finds himself in a sex scandal, a Hollywood producer is hired to create a fake war to distract the populace. The film was Wag the Dog, and it starred the likes of Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman, along with Kirstin Dunst as the faux Albanian refugee (before she wanted the masses to eat cake). It was directed by Barry Levinson, and now he is teaming with De Niro for a new film, What Just Happened?

The movie will be based on Art Linson's memoir about his experiences in Hollywood as a producer. Linson not only directed the first account of Hunter S. Thompson and his lawyer in Where the Buffalo Roam, but he's also produced everything from The Untouchables to Singles. De Niro will star as Ben, a producer based on Linson, who is struggling to get a picture made whilst trying to hold onto his career and not suffer the indignities of numerous Hollywood humiliations.

Basically, it's the Wag the Dog of the cinematic world, and the filmmakers hope that it will impact movie making like Wag impacted politics. The production, which will begin in early March, will also contain a number of Hollywood stars popping in for cameos, as themselves -- the first on the list is Sean Penn. If Levinson and De Niro can channel the magic of its predecessor, this should shape up to be a great film, whether it impacts the business or not.
categories Movies, Cinematical