It was all the way back in June of last year that we first heard about Dan Fogelman’s Imagine, a movie he plans to tackle as both writer and director. Imagine was said to be a story about an aging rock star who gets inspired to reconnect with his estranged son after receiving a posthumous letter from John Lennon, and the rumor at the time was that Al Pacino was being courted to star.
Well, here we are, a year and some change later, and not only has Pacino’s casting solidified, but it turns out he’s brought a couple of other big names along with him. And, in addition to that, new reports give us a little bit more of an idea what this story is all about. According to Deadline Hollywood, in addition to Pacino playing the aging rocker who’s still out there on the road playing all of his old songs, Fogelman has recruited Jeremy Renner to play the part of the adult son, as well as Julianne Moore to play the part of a hotel manager Pacino’s character befriends.
Now, about that letter from John Lennon. The additional story bits here are that it was originally meant for a 19-year-old version of Pacino’s character, who had written to his music hero. Unfortunately, the letter was lost in the mail for decades, and delivered its words of wisdom quite a bit too late to get the guy’s life on the right track. All is not yet lost, however, because in addition to inspiring the guy to get back in touch with his son, Lennon’s late letter also reminds him of the love of music that got him in the game in the first place, and inspires him to stop leaning on the crutch of all his old hits and get back into the business of making new stuff. All that inspiring sounds inspirational. And, according to Fogelman, it’s definitely material that’s near and dear to his heart.
When talking about his upcoming film and all of these new casting developments that have taken place, the burgeoning filmmaker said, “Every writer has ‘that one project,’ the one they feel so strongly about that they can’t bear to turn it over to anyone else. For me, that project is Imagine. It was a career highlight simply to get a script of mine into Al Pacino’s hands. To have him read it, and then want to star in it… it’s five steps past career highlight. And now, to have Julianne Moore and Jeremy join the fray…it’s beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve been hiding in my house for the past few weeks… out of fear that someone would pinch me. We are going to make a very special film here.”
Getting a bout of nerves in the face of all this work is probably only natural. This has got to be the most high profile cast that a first time director has worked with in quite a while. Let’s just hope that Fogelman doesn’t crack under the pressure and is able to make the movie that he’s been imagining.