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Mr Shaw Goes To Hollywood – Pre-Production

Simon Callow

Mr Shaw Goes to Hollywood PosterProducers:
Rhian Williams
Joanne Podmore
Rachel Higginson

Mark Saltzman

Exectutive Producers:
Ellen Little
Mark Saltzman
Yuri Spiro

Dustin Hoffman – Louis B Mayer
Sam Neill – William Randolph Hearst
Eileen Atkins – Charlotte Shaw
Derek Jacobi – George Bernard Shaw
Aidan Turner – Clark Gable
Roger Allam
Brittany Snow – Marion Davies

Set in 1933, the movie will chart how celebrated playwright, George Bernard Shaw (Jacobi), visited Hollywood with his formidable wife, Charlotte (Atkins). The idea of turning Shaw’s most successful play, Pygmalion, into a film was a hot topic of conversation as the great and the good of Hollywood vied for his attention, desperate to be part of the next big motion picture. How would the Irish-born writer and social reformer rub along with the Hollywood elite and, perhaps more importantly, did he have any intention of selling the rights to his beloved story to a film studio in the first place? Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood tells the story of what might have happened before the world came to know the play in its guise as a musical, My Fair Lady.

Callow said of the project: “Hollywood in 1933 was at the very height of its power, reaching untold millions of cinemagoers across the world, gobbling up the greatest writers, directors and actors, and as often as not spitting them out again. It was a world both stylish and savage, ruthlessly controlled by the studio bosses, among whom Louis B Mayer (Hoffman) was the arch-manipulator. Mark Saltzman’s sparkling screenplay shows us what happens when such a man encounters someone whose work he wants but whose wealth and fame make him unbiddable. Perhaps the greatest celebrity of his time, GBS (Jacobi) runs rings round Hollywood, compelling some of the most legendary figures of movie history to confront themselves and the reality of their situations. We see the brutal truth of what lies behind the elegant, witty surface; it is a spectacle both delicious and sobering.”

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