Screenwriting team Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski spent the 90s building a biopic cottage industry for themselves. They wrote The People Vs. Larry Flynt and Man On The Moon for Milos Forman, as well as Ed Wood for Tim Burton. They also produced Paul Schrader's Bob Crane bio Autofocus, and in the wake of that run they planned a bunch of similarly offbeat biographical films (the Marx Brothers, The Village People, and Robert Ripley) that, alas, never materialized. Still, strong work for the team who gave us Problem Child.
So it's pretty exciting that the pair are back in the biopic business. Today's Hollywood Reporter says they're writing and directing Big Eyes, about painter Walter Keane, who made a fortune in the 60s painting ubiquitous, creepy goddamn portraits of children and animals.
What I imagine will be the heart of the film (spoilers?) is that after Walter's wife Margaret divorced him in the 60s, she began a bitter public feud with him, asserting that she in fact did ALL the paintings. She challenged him to various "paint-offs" to prove her claims, and the final one took place in a courtroom, out of which Ms. Keane walked 4 million dollars richer.
Headlining the film are Ryan Reynolds and Reese Witherspoon, so at least the marketing team can breathe a sigh of relief over whether or not they'll be able to smuggle this crazy true story into multiplexes with a nice generic rom-com poster. Stand down, folks!
One look at Ms. Keane's style and you'll be unsurprised to hear Tim Burton is producing the film. This excites me; I have no idea how Alexander and Karaszewski will do as directors, but I like that the Ed Wood team is reuniting.