3 November 2021
By Göran R Buckhorn
Deadline.com came with some breaking news on 1 November that the movie The Boys in the Boat has its first star.
George Clooney has picked the first star for his upcoming movie The Boys in the Boat, which HTBS has written about previously. The 31-year-old British actor Callum Turner will play oarsman Joe Rantz, who rowed at 7 in the U.S. eight that won the gold medal at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
The movie is based on Daniel James Brown’s 2013 book The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Brown confirmed in a Tweet yesterday that Turner was going to play Rantz.
In 2016, Brown’s book was the inspiration for the documentary, American Experience: The Boys of ’36.
According to Deadline, George Clooney came close to directing The Boys last year, but when he had the opportunity to direct Tender Bar, he decided to shoot that film first and then take The Boys as a follow-up project.
Clooney “has tapped Callum Turner to star in The Boys in the Boat from MGM and Smokehouse Pictures, with Clooney and his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov co-directing. Mark L. Smith adapted the screenplay with Chris Weitz penning a previous draft,” Deadline wrote.
In 2018, Callum Turner starred in Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts franchise as the brother to Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander. Turner got his breakthrough role in Jeremy Saulnier’s 2015 thriller Green Room.
Turner was handpicked to star in Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming American war drama Masters of the Air, a miniseries based on the actions of the Eight Air Force of the United States Army Air Force during the Second World War. In 2020, Turner was nominated for a BAFTA for his work as the lead in BBC’s The Capture.
Of course, one could wonder if Clooney could not find an American actor to play the working lad Joe Rantz, but it now seems that the Brit Turner will play Rantz. One question remains: “Can Callum row starboard?”