With Mad Men having drawn to a close, all eyes are inevitably on its star, Jon Hamm, to see where his interests will take him next. His choices have always been both surprising and rewarding, with forays into comedy (Bridesmaids, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp) proving as successful as his dramatic projects (The Town, Black Mirror, Million Dollar Arm). His next choice may well be a combination of the two genres, with a little science fiction mixed in, as it seems the actor is currently in talks to star in the upcoming film, Marjorie Prime.
The movie will be an adaptation of the 2014 play of the same name, which was written by Orange Is The New Black writer, Jordan Harrison. It was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and its adaptation is set to be written and directed by Michael Almereyda (Cymbeline). Highlighting possible future applications of technology with regard to personal and emotional development, the story centres on Marjorie – an elderly woman, whose faculties are in rapid decline.
Her daughter and son-in-law acquire a ‘Prime’ – an artificial, younger copy of Marjorie’s late husband, Walter – in the hopes that his presence will stimulate the aging woman’s mind. Issues arise as a result of the nature of the Prime. It is subject to the programming choices of the humans that control it, and Marjorie’s daughter chooses to effectively edit her mother’s life story – taking the opportunity to relieve her of certain memories, via the Prime.
The role being considered by Jon Hamm is that of Walter, the ‘Prime.’ If the adaptation of Marjorie Prime remains true to the character as written in the play (originated on stage by Jeff Ward), then this will present a fascinating opportunity for Hamm. The Prime is not the kind of automaton that is traditionally imagined – although it is without organic emotion, nonetheless. The wider cast has yet to be announced, but the role of Marjorie was originated by award-winning octogenarian actress Lois Smith (Fried Green Tomatoes, Hollywoodland). It would be heartening to see Smith translate the character to the big screen, opposite a Walter portrayed by Jon Hamm. Time will tell as development of the project continues.