TROUBLE CITY

MALKOVICH GETS BURNED

Movie NewsRuss FischerComment

 If you've been reading Jeremy's fantastic Crop Report feature, you'd know that Burn Before Reading, the Coen Brothers' follow-up to the already completed No Country For Old Men, sounds like a pitch-perfect return to form. That's on the page, anyway, and since their material is so relentlessly scripted before cameras roll, that's two-thirds of the battle.

Clooney and Pitt are famously attached to the movie, and in his script review Jeremy muses on whether Clooney would be the man to play central figure Osbourne Cox, a mid-level CIA beaurocrat who loses a disc filled with sensitive material. Barring Clooney, Jeremy hoped for JK Simmons to repeal his appearance in The Ladykillers by knocking Osbourne out of the park.

We can't be right all the time, and in a move that makes the cast just a little bit more tasty, John Malkovich has been cast as Osbourne Cox. (Clooney, supposedly, will be playing 'an assassin'.)

This is pretty damn good news. Malkovich is an actor who's obviously happy to run riot over a director who doesn't have their shit together, and he can certainly be more than a little bit lazy if he feels the movie isn't worth it. But Ethan Coen is a man who definitely has his shit together, and I can see Malkovich being absolutely brutal and average (in the very best way -- this is a Washington desk jockey, remember) for the brothers.

Now who does Brad Pitt play, and who'll be Burn's screaming fat man?