Warren Beatty was never the most prolific director; he only helmed four feature films over 20 years, and the most recent, Bullworth, was released nearly two decades ago. And he’s been similarly MIA as an actor; aside from a bizarre rights-holding television special reprising his Dick Tracy role from 1990, he hasn’t acted since 2001’s notorious megaflop Town & Country. For years there were rumors of new films; chief among them was his forty-year passion project, a biopic of industrialist, movie mogul, and famously strange billionaire Howard Hughes, a picture that seemed DOA when Martin Scorsese released his Hughes biopic The Aviator in 2004.
But this is Warren Beatty we’re talking about, and he is patient. You could also say he is famously slow to commit to much of anything, so maybe it wasn’t a matter of waiting it out; maybe his Hughes movie was going to take until 2016 or so anyway. The point is, he made that movie – though, either due to the flag-planting of The Aviator or his own advancing age, he did not make a conventional Hughes biography.
Instead, though Beatty is understandably top-billed, Rules Don’t Apply places Hughes as the string-pulling satellite character circling a young romantic couple (Beatty has apparently entered the “late Cary Grant” period of his acting career), played by Hail, Caesar’s Alden Ehrenreich and The Mortal Instruments’ Lily Collins. And now we have a trailer:
Nothing like watching a confident professional at work. Rules seems to meld the shiny Old Hollywood setting of his 1991 acting/producing effort Bugsy (on which he met his wife Annette Bening, who thankfully pops up here) with the fizzy screwball spirit and four-star ensemble cast (Bening, Matthew Broderick, Steve Coogan, Ed Harris, Candice Bergan, Oliver Platt, Amy Madigan, Martin Sheen, and Aviator co-star Alec Baldwin) of his 1978 directorial debut Heaven Can Wait.
It looks like a gem; we’ll find out for sure when Rules Don’t Apply hits theaters on November 23rd.