Anthony Hopkins is on a bit of biopic roll lately. The actor’s turn as ultra-iconic director Alfred Hitchcock hasn’t even finished filming, and Hopkins has already signed up to fill another big pair of cultural shoes. Hopkins will play Ernest Hemingway alongside actors Annette Bening and Andy Garcia in Hemingway & Fuentes. Bening will play Hemingway’s third wife Mary Walsh Hemingway, and Garcia will direct as well as playing Hemingway’s long-time close friend and first mate Gregorio Fuentes. Naturally, the movie will cover their time together in Cuba and the experiences that informed his 1952 novel The Old Man and the Sea.
So what gives with all the Hemingway lately? Anyone paying attention can see that there’s been a marked increase in the amount of Hemingway coming at audiences lately. Last year there was Corey Stoll’s hilarious turn as the writer in Midnight in Paris, and this year HBO is set to release Clive Owen’s portrayal of the actor in Hemingway & Gellhorn. Maybe it’s just as simple as renewed interest in the author being stirred up by Midnight in Paris, or maybe it’s just the general tendency of biopics to happen all at once (there are two Steve Jobs biopics being made, there are two Alfred Hitchcock biopics being made, and two Truman Capote biopics came out around the same time in the middle of the last decade). Not least is the fact that Hemingway represents an idea of the American writer that’s definitely fallen by the wayside in past years; globe-trotting overly macho alcoholic womanizer. That’s one niche that’s long been empty, and be honest; how much more would you like Tao Lin if he was on his third marriage and went hunting in Africa?