Viggo Mortensen, two-time Oscar nominated actor and once and forever Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings features, appears to be in talks to headline Peter Farrelly’s latest feature, a true story entitled Green Book. Variety was the first to report this development. If talks pan out, it would mark Mortensen’s follow-up from last summer’s indie hit Captain Fantastic, a film which earned the actor some his strongest reviews to date, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Actor earlier this year; he earned his first Oscar nod for his performance in David Croenberg’s crime thriller Eastern Promises (2007).
Green Book follows a fascinating set of events that unfolded in the early 1960s. Tony Lip – the role Mortensen in contention to play – was once one of New York’s renowned nightclub bouncers. He worked at the hallowed Copacabana, yet when the club shut its doors, Tony Lip was in need of another job. The Italian-American of working class breeding takes a gig as the chauffeur of an African-American prodigy pianist as he goes on tour of the Deep South. Cultures clash between the two during a mightily tumultuous period of race relations, but a bond begins to grow.
Farrelly, a longtime funny man who with his brother Bobby brought comedy classics like Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary to screen, appears to make a bold about face with Green Book. He is set to direct the feature and co-wrote the screenplay alongside Nick Vallelonga and Brian Currie. For Valleglonga the project is personal as Tony Lip was his real-life father. Nothing is set in stone yet regarding Mortensen, but producers are hoping to head in front of cameras later this year.
Watch this space.