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Robert Altman Has A Hard Body

A new movie based on a car competition

If you thought the back- and onstage happenings of a quirky radio variety show (A Prarie Home Companion) were an unusual choice for a film – though perfect for Robert Altman – the director has picked an even odder prospect for his next outing.

He’s working with writer Stephen Harrigan to develop a script inspired by SR Bindler’s 1997 documentary Hands On A Hard Body. It’s fortunately not the study of sexual relations between humans and TV’s Optimus Prime, but followed a Texas endurance contest that saw people trying to win a new Nissan Hardbody truck. The last person standing with their hand still on the vehicle got to drive it home.

Apparently Altman is comparing the new film to Sydney Pollack’s 1969 effort They Shoot Horses, Don’t They, which is based around a marathon dance competition. Altman hasn’t locked in a cast yet, though The Hollywood Reporter says that he’s been talking with the likes of Hilary Swank and Billy Bob Thornton. And let’s face it – Altman’s the sort of director actors drop everything to work with.

He hopes to start filming in January.

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