November 22nd, 2014 / 22 Comments


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Indiewire talked to Brady Corbet and Mona Fastvold about their movies The Sleepwalker and Childhood of A Leader.  Here’s what Brady had to say about Childhood:

“Up next, the duo is officially heading into pre-production for “The Childhood of the Leader,” a period piece that will mark Corbet’s directorial debut and stars…oh just a little-known actor named Robert Pattinson. Though Corbet is holding onto a few secrets about the project, both he and Fastvold hopped on the phone with Indiewire to chat about writing together, first-time directing and their new family member.

Brady, you’re making your directorial debut with your next project, “The Childhood of a Leader” starring Robert Pattinson. What inspired you to want to direct? Were you inspired by Mona?

BC: Mona’s nodding her head like, “Yes, that’s right Brady. It was me. It was me.”

MF: [Laughs]

BC: No, what’s actually stranger is that I didn’t attempt to do it sooner. And it’s strange that I kept acting as long as I did because for years I kept threatening to walk away and do something else. But the reason I never did walk away and do something else was I kept having opportunities to work with people I really liked and really loved. I was like, “Ok, I love your work. Absolutely I can spare a week, I can spare a month.” I’ve worked for some people that I would have been happy to come wash their floors on set for a week just to see how they work, much less to have the relationship that an actor and a director get to have with one another, which is very special and sometimes very intimate, very unique. I’ve found every filmmaker I’ve worked with inspiring, Mona included.

One of the big problems with this project is that it summarized all the things I’ve really been interested in in my personal and creative life. And yet for so many years I just thought it was too grand and too ambitious to ever get made.

MF: And it almost did.

BC: And it almost did [laughs]. The film takes place in 1919, it stars a child, it’s in French and English. Luckily it’s not going to be four-and-a-half hours long and it’s not going to be black-and-white. But that’s it. It’s not a very easy pitch. It’s sort of about the birth of a megalomaniac and with a maniacal sort of ego at the turn of the century. It’s about the birth of fascism that occurred during the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

Has the identity of this character been revealed?

BC: I have intentionally not revealed the identity of the character. And it’s a funny thing because it’s not for the reasons that people think. One thing I will happily tell everybody is that the character is not Hitler [laughs]. And the character is not Mussolini. It’s someone else. And there’s the dramatic event where you learn who this person is and that’s something I want to save for people. Robert Pattinson is not playing Hitler as you now know [laughs]. I’ll go on the record saying that. …”

Click on the link to read the rest of the article.  It’s a great read.

  • Jules
    Posted on November 22, 2014

    Oh it’s wonderful to hear anything about future projects, good luck to them and so so good to hear more. Im so looking forward to this film!! Thanks so much for posting Maria 🙂

    That is such a great read 👍👍

  • Carmel
    Posted on November 22, 2014

    I love BC is playing his cards close to his chest. It will be easier for spoiler phobes like me

  • Maria
    Posted on November 22, 2014

    I wonder if Rob is playing Winston Churchill

  • Carmel
    Posted on November 22, 2014

    @Maria – I have heard that around the place. That would work

  • Roberta
    Posted on November 22, 2014

    Thx Maria for this article. From his words it seems very close to the novel which I really liked it and it’s very much all about this boy becoming a Nazi but first and above a megalomaniac. Cannot wait to see how Rob will play him. No doubt he will portray him very well. Thx again.

  • Trish
    Posted on November 23, 2014

    Exciting news! Looking forward to so many of Rob’s upcoming roles – this is one of them. Thanks for the heads up, Maria.

  • Maria
    Posted on November 23, 2014

    Are you talking about Satre’s short story @Roberta? I don’t think the movie is about Lucien Flurier because why would Brady say “I have intentionally not revealed the identity of the character.” Also IMDB has a summary that says “A look at the childhood life of a post-World War I leader.” Anyway I’m not saying I’m right you’re wrong because ultimately we will know when and if the film is made, but it’s hard to narrow it down because realistically a lot of the leaders in the 30s were all megalomaniacs *if not current day ones too* ha! So Brady IS playing his cards close to his chest.

    My next guess is Hermann Göring. He fits the bill.

  • Michelle
    Posted on November 23, 2014

    How exciting is this, cannot wait to hear more. We have oh so much to look forward to. Thanks Maria 😀

  • Julie- Sydney RobFan
    Posted on November 23, 2014

    I have this little memory in the back of my brain which remembers reading an interview around Cannes time (could have been Rob, but unsure) that said it was a nazi high in the ranks. unfortunately I can’t remember where I read it so I can’t pull up the source to clarify.

  • Maria
    Posted on November 23, 2014

    Ok well I think we’re all wrong. I’ve done some digging on various posts we’ve had over this year and Brady has mentioned both of these comments:

    “It’s about an American family that has to go to France for the Paris peace conference,” Corbet says. “But it’s really a dark fable about this little boy coming of age during a very politically charged period in world history.”

    So it rules out any high ranking Nazis I referred to and also rules out Churchill.

    Then at Sundance, Brady says this at an interview:

    “It’s set around 1918 / 1919 after the first World War and it is a chronicle of the childhood experiences of a little boy who grows up to be an important historical figure.”

    And it’s not based on Satre’s book because Brady said it was something he and Mona wrote themselves.

    So the plot thickens.

  • Julie
    Posted on November 23, 2014

    Very very interesting, thanks for digging around Maria and I’ve enjoyed the impromptu history lessons we’ve been having by email. 👍👍 Can’t wait to hear more about this project!! 🙌

  • Maria
    Posted on November 23, 2014

    I’m still searching @Jules I thought it might have been Franklin D Roosevelt. I know when it’s revealed we will be all – oh God how OBVIOUS ha!

  • Sue
    Posted on November 23, 2014

    Okay, I’m leaving this discussion to far greater minds than mine LOL!

  • Carmel
    Posted on November 23, 2014

    Roosevelt may have been too old to be considered a boy in 1918 although I think he was a regular visitor to the region in his youth.
    I just had a thought.The Paris Peace Conference had a relatively small side project dealing with dividing up the Middle East – very topical – None other than T.E Lawrence was part of the Arab delegation. It’s a long bow but wouldn’t it be fun to have Rob play Lawrence in QotD and in Childhood
    Another tangent – Ho Chi Minh was a student in Paris at the time and sent a letter to President Wislon when he was at the conference asking for help with removing French rule in Vietnam. He had spent time in NY prior to that. Not very American but there is a link
    Walt Disney was also in France at the time with the Red Cross driving ambulances. He would have been about 17. Not little enough
    Seriously, these quotes Maria has dug up have just made this even more interesting. An American??? A little American?

  • Maria
    Posted on November 24, 2014

    Oh Carmel I forgot about FDR’s age. I too thought about Walt Disney because we are all just assuming it’s a historical “political” figure, but it’s just historical. It can’t be TE Lawrence because he’s British and Brady said it’s an “American” family that has to go to France for the Peace Conference. I thought it might have been Ernest Hemingway too, but he was in Italy around that time.

    I’d laugh if Brady is just teasing us and his character is fictional.

  • Maria
    Posted on November 24, 2014

    @Carmel I’ve found this quote too which makes me think we are chasing our tails over a fictitious character:

    “It follows a young American living in France in 1918 who encounters what is described as “the birth of a terrifying ego” in a movie that’s said to be “a chilling fable about the rise of fascism in the 20th Century.”

    “said to be a chilling FABLE”….. it’s killing me lol. Not really I just had some spare time up my sleeve.

    Could be a fictional character set amongst real life events.

  • Carmel
    Posted on November 24, 2014

    Oh wow. I love a good ponder. Well played getting more quotes. This game is fun.

    I was thinking that it shouldn’t be too hard to find an American child with political parents who traveled to the conference and grew up to be an influence. But it has been. So many people just miss the mark – Like the Kennedy’s

    With all those mentioned, and so many more ‘important historical’ figures converging on Paris it could be BC is linking them all together with a fictitious character to highlight the tipping point of history. But a child? I suppose a child wouldn’t judge and is open to views. America was in it’s infancy as a power so that could be symbolic too.

    But then again, he seems to be talking about 1 egomaniac. That is hard when there were so many. I have more pondering to do 🙂

  • Maria
    Posted on November 24, 2014

    @Carmel in We Got This Covered’s Article on Berenice joining the cast it says “Childhood of a Leader takes a look at the early days of a ruler who would rise to power following World War I. Pattinson will play the titular leader.

    Bejo will take on the key role of the leader’s mother, replacing Juliette Binoche after scheduling conflicts forced that actress to disembark. … We don’t have any more information about the plot other than what is listed above, but which leader do you think Corbet’s film will focus on? One from history, or a figure of his own creation?”

    And this little snippet from Cultist/MiamaNewTimes:

    “The film is called The Childhood of a Leader and chronicles, in part, the seven months leading up to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles,” he writes via email. “The film is focused on a political family that relocates to France for the Paris Peace Conference and is about their little boy’s metaphysical response to this tumultuous period of world history that paved the way for the Second World War.”

  • Carmel
    Posted on November 25, 2014

    @Maria – Truth is stranger than fiction and that period many giant figures. It must be someone from history.
    So the boy is comming of age in ’18-19 – So we can say he was about 16-18 years old – not so little really
    The boy is American and grows up to be an important historical leader and will influence events leading to WWII
    Franco is the right age and influence – but not American
    Hamilton Fish, Jr. first set up The Committee on Un-American Activities. He was in France at the time , had ties to Roosevelt and was touted as a Nazi sympathizer ( probably too old at 25 in ’18)

  • Carmel
    Posted on November 25, 2014

    Oh – How about Prescott Bush – the father and grandfather of the two W Bush American Presidents? He was important, but not really a leader. However the timeline fits and that could be interesting. Although later cleared his business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, were rumored to have supported the financial architects of Nazism

  • Sue
    Posted on November 26, 2014

    @Carmel & @Maria. You two are hilarious! Holmes & Watson? LMAO. Keep going, keep going ……

  • Carmel
    Posted on November 26, 2014

    I am strengthening my case for Prescott Brush – More googleing uncovers that he was rumored to be part of a plot to overthrow FDR in 1933. A group of high profile right wing businessmen believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.
    Seriously – this is a good story.

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