Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is a Hollywood “fixer” helping the production of the upcoming film entitled Hail Caesar starring famous actor Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). When a hungover Whitlock is kidnapped by a group named The Future, Mannix is the one in charge of collecting $100,000 and rescuing him.
Hail, Caesar! is a comedy film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, and Ralph Fiennes, the film follows Eddie Mannix (Brolin), a “fixer” working in the Hollywood film industry in the 1950s, trying to discover what happened to a cast member who vanishes during filming.
First revealed in 2004, the film was originally set to take place in the 1920s and follow actors performing a play about ancient Rome. The Coens shelved the idea until late 2013, when they stated it was in development. Principal photography began in November 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The film was opened on February 5, 2016 and opened the 66th Berlin International Film Festival on February 11. 2016.
About the Story
Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), head of production at Capitol Pictures, also works as a “fixer” to keep the scandalous behavior of its stars out of the press. The Lockheed Corporation has been courting him with an offer of a high-level executive position, but he is unsure about taking it. When unmarried actress DeeAnna Moran (Johansson) becomes pregnant, Mannix arranges for her to put the baby in foster care and then adopt it without revealing herself as the mother. He often has to fend off inquiries from Thora and Thessaly Thacker (both played by Swinton), twin sisters and rival gossip columnists.
The studio’s major production is Hail, Caesar!, an epic set in ancient Rome and starring Baird Whitlock (Clooney). During a shoot, Whitlock drinks from a goblet of wine drugged by an extra; he passes out behind the soundstage and is abducted. A ransom note soon arrives, written by a group calling itself “The Future” and demanding $100,000, which Mannix arranges to have paid. Whitlock awakens in a beach house and finds his way into a meeting of The Future, a Communist cell. The members explain their doctrine to him, and he begins to sympathize with their cause.
Meanwhile, singing Western film star Hobie Doyle (Ehrenreich) is cast in a period drama helmed by director Laurence Laurentz (Fiennes), as an attempt to broaden his appeal. Doyle’s performance is hopelessly inept, but Mannix insists that he stay with the production and try to learn from Laurentz. While attending the premiere of one of his own Westerns with starlet Carlotta Valdez, Doyle recognizes the briefcase containing the ransom money, having previously seen it on Mannix’s desk.
It is being carried by Burt Gurney (Tatum), star of a sailor comedy; Doyle follows him to the beach house, but finds only Whitlock waiting for him there. The rest of The Future’s members have rowed Gurney offshore so he can rendezvous with a Soviet submarine and turn over the money. As he boards, his dog jumps into his arms, causing him to drop the briefcase so that it sinks into the ocean. Doyle takes Whitlock back to the studio as the police arrive to arrest the group.
Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Jonah Hill, Emily Beecham
Screenplay by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Production Design by: Jess Gonchor
Cinematography by: Roger Deakins
Film Editing by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Costume Design by: Mary Zophres
Set Decoration by: Nancy Haigh
Music by: Carter Burwell
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking.
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: February 5, 2016