With the addition of Janelle Monae and Leslie Mann, it seems that the cast for Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming film is coming together. According to Variety, the two actresses have officially joined Steve Carell for the cast of the film. The untitled film will be based off of the 2010 documentary Marwencol, which tells the story of a real life trauma victim who builds a miniature WWII-era village as a way to recover from a violent assault that permanently effected his memory.
In 2000, Mark Hogancamp was attacked by five men in a bar, and was beaten so badly he went into a coma and spent over a month in the hospital. When he emerged, he could not remember many details of his life prior to the incident, and could not afford therapy. He had to relearn how to eat, walk and write. Afraid to re-enter the real world, Hogancamp created a 1/6 scale WWII era Belgian town in his yard, complete with little 1/6 scale people. He calls that town ‘Marwencol’, a portmanteau of the names ‘Mark’, ‘Wendy’ and ‘Colleen’. It was when he began to take artistic photos of his townspeople that his work received national attention, especially by the art world, and led to the documentary and the book Welcome to Marwencol.
Earlier this week there were reports that Zemeckis was one of the frontrunners for directing Warner Bros upcoming feature The Flash. Although this does not confirm Zemeckis is not working on the superhero film, it seems to suggest that he has other priorities. Zemeckis has had a difficult time the last few years, directing The Walk starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Allied with Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, which both received mixed reviews. Zemeckis is most well-known for directing Forrest Gump, Polar Express, and the Back to the Future series.
Monae received critical acclaim last year for her first two actings roles: as Teresa in Barry Jenkin’s Moonlight and as Mary Jackson in Hidden Figures. Although she rose to fame in the last year for her work as an actress, she is better known for her music work, for which she has received six Grammy nominations.
Last year, Mann starred in The Comedian beside Robert De Niro, as well as How to Be Single with Dakota Johnson, Alison Brie, and Rebel Wilson. She is currently filming comedy The Pact, with co-stars Ike Barinholtz and John Cena, expected to premiere in 2018. The Pact follows three fathers who try to stop their daughters from having sex on prom night.
Stay tuned for more details about Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming project.