By: James Smith
Not too long ago, we took the opportunity provided by the decision to have Ashton Kutcher play Steve Jobs in a new biopic to take a look at some other times that Hollywood executives have made apparently unlikely casting calls. Well, it looks like we should have waited a little while, because movie lovers have just been treated to the least likely casting choice imaginable. Yes, even stranger than Gregory Peck playing a Nazi: Hollywood problem child Lindsay Lohan is now set to play one of the title roles in the upcoming Lifetime biopic Liz and Dick. The Liz in question? None other than screen legend Elizabeth Taylor.
Of course, Lohan’s role is only half the subject. Lifetime’s new biopic will focus on Taylor’s romance with fellow cinema deity Richard Burton, who starred opposite her in Cleopatra and who has the dubious distinction of having been nominated for more acting Oscars (7) without winning one than anyone else. (Arguably, this record belongs to the eight-times nominated Peter O’Toole, but O’Toole at least has an honorary Oscar to his name.) By the numbers, Taylor’s relationship to Burton was more successful than any of her others: they were married twice for a total period of over ten years, longer than any of Taylor’s other involvements, and Taylor would later say that he was one of the great loves of her life.
Can Lohan pull it off? If so, it could be a huge bump for the actress, who has had frequent troubles with the law and who not so long ago was reduced to the indignity of posing for Playboy. She appeared in Robert Rodriguez’s modest hit B-movie Machete, and tried to kick off her latest comeback recently with a guest turn on Saturday Night Live. That didn’t go so well, sparking criticism over her apparent reliance on cue cards and her unhealthy appearance.
We’re rooting for the comeback to work out, of course – but the signs don’t look too good.