John Malkovich Jockeys for Position in Secretariat

September 22, 2009

The always excellent (and sometimes creepy) actor John Malkovich is set to star in the new horse racing movie, Secretariat. Didn't get your fill of jockeys and horse racing from Seabiscuit? Suffer no more. Several other big-name stars also just attached themselves to this horse fest.

The man who wrote what was perhaps the awesomest historical film ever made, Braveheart, is directing Secretariat. Randall Wallace will helm the film with some heavy duty talent in front of the screen. As well as Malkovich, who will play Lucien Laurin, ex-jockey turned trainer of the eponymous Secretariat, Diane Lane will play Penny Tweedy, the owner of a horse breeding business (presumably the one that bred Secretariat) called Meadow Farm. Dylan Walsh is going to play her authoritarian husband.

Slashfilm also tells us that Scott Glenn is part of this experienced cast. He will play

Ogden Phipps, a stockbroker, philanthropist and horse breeder who made a coin toss deal with Penny Tweedy’s father to determine who got the offspring of a breeding arrangement. Phipps actually won the toss, but chose other horses over the unborn foal that became Secretariat.

The horse in question, Secretariat, was one of the few to win all three major races that comprise the Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes. So this isn't just some average horse we're talking about here. Did it talk? No. Does that make it any less special? Once again, no.

In all seriousness, it is a bit difficult to get excited by another horse racing movie so soon after Seabiscuit, even if that was a good movie. It's also surprising that a younger set of actors hasn't been cast; maybe that's news that will come at a later date. But you'd assume there would need to be a solid love interest side story going on in order to get anyone under the age of 80 to show up to this thing.

That said, watching Malkovich in just about anything is always a pleasure and it's nice that he's popping up in a couple films these days. Diane Lane is also always a welcome addition, so we'll just have to withhold judgement on this one until we start seeing some posters and trailers.

Horse racing might just be what theaters need right now.

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