A couple of months ago it was announced that Martin Scorsese’s next film would be an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, filmed from a script by John Logan (Gladiator). Deadline now has the news that Scorsese is now in talks with two actors for this project: Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Kingsley.
Baron Cohen would reportedly play the station inspector, who I believe acts as some sort of antagonist to the main character, a 12 year-old orphan living in a Parisian train station in the 1930s. Baron Cohen hasn’t appeared in much apart from his characters Ali G, Borat and Brüno, so I guess it’ll be interesting to see him in a less outrageous role, in a more narrative-based film.
Kingsley is in discussion to portray George Méliès, the real-life film director (who worked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries), and a central character in the story. I haven’t read the book yet, but this seems like spot-on casting – it’s not hard to picture him as the old director, building things in his workshop.
It was also recently suggested in a Variety article that Scorsese is interested in filming Hugo Cabret in 3D. The visuals should be unique at least, if they stick closely to the book, so let’s hope that this casting is as good as it sounds, and that the intriguing premise of the plot holds up too.