There aren’t a lot of things Hollywood loves more in a film than the retelling of true-to-life events or the on-screen portrayal of the real life of a complicated or inspiring person. For proof, look no further than what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards each year: In the last 10 years of the Academy Awards, seven times the coveted award for best actor has gone to someone portraying a real person, including last year when Rami Malek won for “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Here’s a look at some of the most-anticipated biopics and films based on real events coming this fall, featuring some of the biggest actors in Hollywood — Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks and Robert De Niro, et al — and from directors such as Steven Soderburg and Martin Scorsese.
“Hustlers” (Sept. 13): STX Entertainment’s glitzy Robin Hood of strippers (of sorts) film, which the studio picked up after it was jettisoned from Annapurna, is inspired by a viral 2016 New York Magazine article. “Hustlers” follows a crew of savvy strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on wealthy, drunk and abusive Wall Street clientele by maxing out their credit cards after they’ve passed out. The film stars Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Cardi B, Lizzo, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart and Julia Stiles.
“Judy” (Sept. 27): Renee Zellweger takes the stage as the iconic Judy Garland in this film set in 1968 when “The Wizard of Oz” star arrived in London to perform in a sell-out run of “The Talk of the Town.” The film follows Garland as she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans. Finn Wittrock, Jessie Buckley and Michael Gambon also star.
“The Laundromat” (Sept. 27): “The Laundromat” is Steven Soderbergh’s latest film and flaunts a goulash of actors including Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, Sharon Stone, Jeffrey Wright, Melissa Rauch, David Schwimmer, Will Forte, Chris Parnell, Larry Wilmore, Rosalind Chao and James Cromwell, et al. “The Laundromat” is Soderbergh’s screwball comedy about the Panama Papers, a massive conspiracy of the uber-wealthy that involved money laundering, bribery, extortion. The film is based on Jake Bernstein’s book, “Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite.”
“The Current War” (Oct. 4): The Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon-led historical drama languished in limbo for nearly two years following The Weinstein Co.’s bankruptcy, but it was bought by 101 Studios in April and is finally seeing the light of day after having premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. “The Current War” tells the story of the cutthroat competition between Thomas Edison (Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Shannon) over whose electrical system would power the new century. Nicholas Hoult also stars as Nikola Tesla.
“Lucy in the Sky” (Oct. 4): “Fargo” and “Legion” creator Noah Hawley directed Natalie Portman in “Lucy in the Sky,” loosely based on astronaut Lisa Nowak who, in the film has a hard time readjusting following her return from space. Nowak, who was romantically involved with fellow astronaut William Oefelein flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in July 2006. The following year she was charged with the attempted kidnapping of U.S. Air Force Cpt. Colleen Shipman, who also had an affair with Oefelein. Nowak ultimately pled guilty to lesser charges and was sentenced to a year probation. “Lucy in the Sky” also stars Jon Hamm, Zazie Beetz and Dan Stevens.
“Dolemite is my Name” (Oct. 25): Eddie Murphy returns to the screen after a three year hiatus to play a blaxploitation legend — his name is Dolemite. Actually, his name is Rudy Ray Moore. Dolemite is the alter-ego Moore creates after struggling to break into the entertainment industry, in order to star in blaxploitation films. Moore would go on to star in three films as Dolemite, including “Dolemite” from 1975, followed by “The Human Tornado” and “The Return of Dolemite.” The Netflix film also stars Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Epps, Wesley Snipes, Craig Robinson, Tituss Burgess and Da’Vine Joy Randolph.
“The Irishman” (Nov. 1): Martin Scorsese reunites Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in what is one of the fall’s most-anticipated films — biopic or otherwise. “The Irishman,” which uses CG to de-age the actors, is a decade-spanning saga of organized crime in post-WWII America that covers Jimmy Hoffa’s (Pacino) rise as the leader of the Teamsters, and Frank Sheeran’s (De Niro) participation in hits for the Bufalino crime family as well as the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Stephen Graham, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Jack Huston, Kathrine Narducci and Jesse Plemons also star in the Netflix film.
“Harriet” (Nov. 1): Cynthia Erivo, who had a breakout 2018 with films “Widows” and “Bad Times at the El Royale,” gets a star turn as American abolitionist, activist and icon Harriet Tubman. The film follows the freedom fighter on her escape from slavery, as well as during her subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves in the South during a time of extreme adversity ahead of the Civil War.
“The King” (Nov. 1): Timothée Chalamet follows in the footsteps of Shakespearean greats Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh, taking on the role of Henry V in Netflix’s “The King.” The historical drama is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play about the 15th-century monarch. It follows the young king navigates the palace politics, chaos and war his father left behind in death. Chalamet is backed by a great cast that includes Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Lily-Rose Depp, Robert Pattinson and Ben Mendelsohn.
“Honey Boy” (Nov. 8): “Honey Boy,” written by Shia LaBeouf, is a raw and cathartic telling of the actor’s childhood growing up with an abusive and alcoholic father, played by LaBeouf. LaBeouf wrote the screenplay while in rehab and reconciling with his father and confronting his mental health. Noah Jupe plays what is a proxy for young Shia, named Otis, and Lucas Hedges plays him as an adult.
“Ford v Ferrari” (Nov. 15): In a film that might as well be called “We Want an Oscar,” Matt Damon stars as visionary car designer Carroll Shelby along with Christian Bale as the fearless British-born driver Kevin Miles. The film tells the true story of the two men as they build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Nov. 22): Tom Hanks plays the indelible Fred Rogers. Nothing else need be said.
“Bombshell” (Dec. 20): “Bombshell,” another film picked up by a studio after Annapurna let it go, tells the story of the Fox News sexual harassment scandal from the point of view of the women who took on the toxic male culture of Fox News, which ultimately led to the downfall of former Fox News head Roger Ailes. Charlize Theron stars, in a striking resemblance to Megyn Kelly, alongside Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie. “Bombshell” was directed by Jay Roach and written by “The Big Short” scribe Charles Randolph
“Just Mercy” (Dec. 25): Michael B. Jordan stars as real-life author, activist and Civil Rights defense lawyer Bryan Stevenson in this emotional court room drama as he recounts his experiences and the details of the case of wrongly convicted death row inmate Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx) whom he fights to set free. The film, which also stars Brie Larson, is directed by “Short Term 12” filmmaker Destin Cretton.
Read original story Paging Oscar Voters: 19 Fact-Based Fall Movies and Biopics, From ‘Judy’ to ‘Bombshell’ (Photos) At TheWrap