You might not know who Maxwell Perkins is, but damned if his doesn’t sound like a compelling story to put to film and with Michael Fassbender and Colin Firth joining on to Genius –the telling of that story– I’ll bet you want to know what it’s about now.
Perkins was a literary editor active in the 20s,30s, and 40s and was known for guiding the literary hands of such geniuses as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe. It is his relationship with the later that Genius will focus on, as the adaptation of A. Scott Berg’s biography of the editor will see Michael Fassbender playing Thomas Wolfe (a part he’s been interested in for some time) and Colin Firth playing Perkins. The two will be directed by the eminent theatrical director Michael Grandage, who is making a transition to film directing after 20 years of directing some of the most well-known stage shows there are.
Perkins and Wolfe’s friendship is a goldmine for such a drama, as the two considered each other best friends, and yet it was a relationship of constant conflict- Wolfe was known for writing immense manuscripts that Perkins would –sometimes over the course of years– persuade a reluctant Wolfe to cut down and restrain, sometimes by as much as 90,000 words! And despite never severing Perkins as his literary executor, the two even parted professional ways to some extent, as resentment grew from the popular acceptance that it was Perkins who was largely responsible for Wolfe’s genius.
This has become a drama that I’ll be eagerly looking forward to- so keep an eye out for updates.
Source | Variety