Looks like we're going to get a tasty Titanic reunion for Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road. Not long after Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet signed on to star, comes word from the Hollywood Reporter that Kathy Bates (who played the unsinkable Molly Brown in that ship flick) has joined a cast that also includes David Harbour, Michael Shannon and Zoe Kazan. It's weird, for someone who appeared in five films last year, currently has four in post-production and one in pre-production, I feel like we never see her. Perhaps it's because Bates has made a name for herself by taking on smaller, more memorable roles -- stuff that sort of blends her into the background, until you leave the theater trying to come up with the name of the actress who stole the show. "Oh yeah, Kathy Bates. That's it. Didn't she try to kill James Caan once?"
Based on the 1961 Richard Yates novel, Revolutionary Road places Mendes back in a familiar, comfortable, award-worthy arena. Somewhat like his break-out Oscar-winning hit American Beauty, Road is a 1950s-set drama which chronicles the life and times of a married couple whose relationship is sinking faster than ... well, ya know. Bates will play the friendly woman who sells the couple their new home and helps introduce them to the town. The film begins shooting outside New York in June, with an eye on a (fall?) 2008 release. Though it's a fine novel, I'm worried too many people will immediately compare this pic to American Beauty; I mean, it's set in suburbia, features a guy so fed up with his corporate job that he turns to the bottle (instead of pot) and embarks on an affair with his secretary. All we need now is a trippy soundtrack and rose petals, and we have ourselves a sequel. In all fairness, it's a different story with some fantastic talent involved. I'm a huge fan of Mendes' work (even if Jarhead felt like an awkward acid trip following the gems that were Beauty and Road to Perdition), and so I'm sure his take on troubled marriage in the 1950s will, at the very least, be entertaining to watch.