Here's one project you can probably put to bed for good -- the supposed biopic of poker legend Amarillo Slim, starring Nic Cage and directed by Milos Forman. I brought it up during a conversation with Forman at this week's Goya's Ghosts junket in New York, and he looked at me like I'd insulted his mother when I did. Forman said he never had any serious attachment to the project in the first place. "That's typical Hollywood," he said. "About three years ago somebody from Los Angeles called me if I'd be interested to make film about Amarillo Slim with Nicolas Cage. Amarillo Slim is interesting character, love Nicolas Cage as an actor ... I said 'Sure, I would be interested, but I'll tell you after you send me the script. It depends on the script.' So they put it in the press that I'm doing it. Till today, I haven't seen the script."
The chances of a big-budget Hollywood biopic happening are further reduced when you consider that in 2003, the notorious proposition gambler was, as Wikipedia puts it, "indicted on three charges of indecency with his 12-year-old granddaughter," and ended up copping a plea. Oscar voters tend to frown on that kind of thing, don't they? Another interesting tidbit from my conversation with Forman: he claims to have had absolutely no idea who Natalie Portman was before she came to his attention during the casting process of Goya's Ghosts. I'll be posting a full report from the junket as soon as I have time to type it up.