James McAvoy circling Sacha Gervasi's MY DINNER WITH HERVE

James McAvoy is reportedly reading a script for director Sacha Gervasi‘s (Anvil! The Story of Anvil) next feature film, My Dinner With Hervé. According to The Playlist, McAvoy is one of a handful of actors also interested, but "he’ll be reading soon and a decision on a lead should be locked down shortly." McAvoy is set to star in Welcome to the Punch this summer and Joe Wright is courting him for Anna Karenina. The film revolves around the last days of Hervé Villechaize, aka Tattoo on TV’s Fantasy Island. The story is written by and based on Gervasi’s true-life experiences, ‘Herve’ is both personal and semi-autobiographical—Gervasi was actually the last journalist to interview Villechaize before he committed suicide in 1993. In fact, after essentially telling Gervasi his life story for a magazine feature profile piece and dredging up a lot of his painful past and upbringing, Villechaize killed himself just a few days later.

Here is what Gervasi had to say about Herve, “Herve wasn’t just a pop culture icon; he was one of the most charming, cultured and dangerous people I’ve ever met. His is the story of a unique misfit trying to find his place in the world.” Gervasi goes on to explain, “It’s a dinner interview as he flashes back on his life."

In the drama, McAvoy would play Gervasi, "a journo sent on assignment from the U.K. to interview a famous U.S. writer, but then a rival hack steals his assignment and then the embittered writer has to instead interview what is then a very washed-up and in very poor health Villechaize. The relationship is adversarial and Villechaize—as Gervasi notes in the aforementioned quote—is dangerous, unhinged and yet charming, affable and smart. Through the course of their dinner interview the diminutive actor reflects back on life and the journo begins to discover a newfound appreciation and respect for the actor’s painful life experiences." Writer Steven Zaillian and Mandate Pictures are producing through their co-venture Film Rites with Garrett Basch.

This sounds like an interesting film to say the least. I remember enjoying Villechaize whenever I saw him on screen. McAvoy is a greta actor and will do great if he decides to take this role. It will be a nice change of pace from X-Men: First Class.

What are your thoughts on this news?

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