Glenn Close’s Sunset Boulevard Remake Proves She’s Not Giving Up on That Oscar
The Glennaissance is upon us.
After a whirlwind awards season that saw her—and her dog—rise to Lady Gaga–levels of fame only to lose in Oscar night’s biggest upset, the seven-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close is now set to star in Paramount’s musical remake of Sunset Boulevard, the Hollywood Reporter announced on Friday, 69 years after the original film was released. And since the original, black-and-white version won three Academy Awards—and was nominated for 11 in total—it looks like Close isn’t giving up on breaking her record Oscar-losing streak just yet.
That’s especially true seeing as this won’t be the first time that Close has taken on the iconic role of Norma Desmond. The 71-year-old actress played Desmond, a silent-film star struggling to come to grips with the fact that she’s no longer in her glory days, in the film’s 1994 Broadway musical adaptation—a performance that earned Close her third Tony Award—and in the play’s 2016 revival in New York and London. Andrew Lloyd Webber, who wrote the music and lyrics for its first Broadway adaptation, will return as one of the film’s producers. Taking over from Billy Wilder, the Tony-winning choreographer Rob Ashford will join Webber and Close as the film’s director, marking his directorial debut—and quite the departure from his recent work choreographing Disney’s musical version of Frozen.
This is comforting news to the “Glenn Hive” portion of the Internet that immediately reacted to her loss by hoping that a new Sunset Boulevard movie would be made or that Close would book the part of Mama Rose in the upcoming Gypsy movie.
There’s no word yet on who will step in for William Holden as the young, flailing screenwriter Joe Gillis, whom Desmond ensnares in her Hollywood mansion in her attempts to make and star in a film about Salome; nor on who will play the butler Max, who, unbeknownst to Desmond, feeds her delusion of fame with a steady stream of fan mail (notably, along with the lead role, both male roles also received Oscar and Tony nominations for the aforementioned productions). If production does start this fall, as the Reporter suggests, those announcements will no doubt come soon enough—right along with the Glennaissance.
The role does come with some bad Oscar karma, however, considering that Gloria Swanson’s version of Norma was involved in what still may stand as the biggest best actress upset of all time. Swanson gave her all-time performance in the movie the same year that Bette Davis gave her legendary performance in All About Eve, and most of Hollywood assumed it was a two-woman race (sort of like the Glenn-versus-Gaga dynamic of this year), but on Oscar night it was the comedic actress Judy Holliday who won, for Born Yesterday. Here’s hoping Glenn fares better.
Related: Glenn Close’s Dog Pip Is the Real Star of the 2019 Awards Season