The Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! Adds Christopher Lambert

66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra)

Hold onto your butts, ’cause this is an unexpected piece of casting information. Christopher Lambert, star of the most important ’80s genre pic ever, Highlander, has joined the cast of The Coen Brothers’ next comedy, Hail, Caesar!

The sibling duo’s upcoming chucklefest is based in the backlots and studios of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and follows the story of a ‘fixer’ named Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin). The title has nothing whatsoever to do with veterinary medicine. In 1950s Hollywood, this was the term applied to the dogsbodies who were given the boring lackey jobs on sets. When a famous starlet goes missing, it’s up to Mannix to track her down. It’s a brilliant premise that ought to be the perfect vessel for the Coens’ typically zany commentary on society.

As production began on the shoot earlier this month, the casting roster has plumped up further with today’s left field announcement. Per THR, Lambert’s role in the starry ensemble will be that of “Arne Slessum, a married European filmmaker whose 

scandalous affair with a young starlet becomes yet another headache for the studio.” Lambert has crafted a sizeable resume by appearing in so-bad-they’re-good genre titles like Fortress and Mortal Kombat. Hence our initial skepticism. Of course, it’s not unusual for the Coens to work with actors you wouldn’t expect.

Rounding out the remainder of the cast are Coen stalwarts Brolin, George Clooney, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton, who’ll be welcoming newcomers Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, David Krumholtz, Patrick Fischler and Fisher Stevens. A large ensemble that’s for sure, but expect many more announcements before Hail, Caesar! hits theatres on February 5th, 2016