There have been many words used to describe Sean Penn over the years. We’re sure Madonna used a few choice examples in her day, but he’s also been called a great actor. Now he’s looking at a role that will see him hailed as a genius. Well… The film is called Genius, and the part he’s being approached for is real-life literary editor and hero of the written word, Max Perkins.
Perkins might not exactly be a household name, particularly not over here, but he’s the ideal character for a biopic, and one for Penn to sink his thespian chops in to as with Harvey Milk. Famed for his quirky style and stylish fedora, the eccentric editor worked at notable New York publishing house Scribner, which saw the likes of F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway march through its doors to get their books out into the world.
While those and other big names certainly feature, the story – adapted by writer John Logan from A Scott Berg’s award-winning biography Max Perkins: Editor of Genius – would follow his working relationship with the young Thomas Wolfe.
Such is the man’s appeal that there have been several attempts to get him on screen before, with Lawrence Kasdan attached at one point to direct. But now Bill Pohlad, who has been more recently known for producing and drumming up finance though his River Road Entertainment Company, is hearing the siren call of the megaphone again. And since he’s worked on movies with Penn before (in particular helping to get Into the Wild up and running), there’s a strong chance he could entice the actor into taking the lead.