Milos Forman's last film was "Goya's Ghosts," and for his follow-up, he's probably heading for some confusion, since it too has "ghost" in the title: "The Ghost of Munich."
"Ghosts are everywhere," Forman laughed when we caught up with him at the Director's Guild Honors. "We're just finishing the screenplay [for 'The Ghost of Munich'] and I hope to be shooting sometime in the late spring."
Forman's screenplay is by former Czech president Václav Havel, and it's an adaptation of the book of the same name about the the Munich conference in 1938, when Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain, and the President of the French Council, Edouard Daladier, convened, promising "peace in our time" only to see Hitler then invade Czechoslovakia.
Although most of the participants were infamous, Daladier was a phantom, a ghost -- a nowhere man who was at the center of it all. But the movie finds him thirty years later, in the summer of 1968, when a female American journalist is on a mission to find the believed-to-be-dead Daladier and to get him to reveal the truth about the historical event.
"I just started meeting with young actresses [to play the American journalist]," Forman said, "and I got to tell you, I'm so impressed. It's going to be a hard choice. A hard thing. Like with Courtney Love [in "The People Vs. Larry Flynt" and "Man On The Moon"], this girl has to bring to the part her own personality, not to play a character. She has to bring her own personality."
Casting Daladier will also be hard, Forman said, because he actually needs two of them -- one that's 40 years old (for the flashbacks to the Munich conference), and one that's almost 80 years old. Plus, Forman said, "I still don't know if [the film] will be in English or if it will be in different languages, in which case, I would need a French actor who speaks English, of course, because the spine of the film is in English."
When we suggested Mathieu Almaric -- who already has a "Munich" film under his belt and has a star turn in the upcoming James Bond film "Quantum of Solace," Forman sounded intrigued. "Which category does he fit in?" he asked. The 40-years-old one, we assured him. "Hmmm…" Forman said as he walked away. So, Mathieu, if you get a call from Milos anytime soon, you know who to thank.
Who would you want to see cast as the American journalist? As the younger and elder Daladier?