Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Early word on ''Ladykillers''

Posted on

What can one little old churchgoing lady do to stop a gang of thieves planning a heist — and planning also to kill said lady, after she discovers their scheme?

Plenty, as you’d expect from ultra-fatalistic filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen. In the spirit of earlier tales of criminal plots gone awry (see: Fargo, Blood Simple), the brothers have reworked director Alexander Mackendrick’s notably ghoulish 1955 British comedy of the same name. The original starred Alec Guinness as the ringleader crook and a young Peter Sellers as a henchman. This time around, it’s Tom Hanks who assembles a crew, as phony-baloney Professor Goldthwait Higginson Dorr III, with Remember the Titans’ Ryan Hurst as a thug named Lump and Marlon Wayans as coconspirator Gawain McSam. Wayans found himself a bit spellbound by Hanks’ Mississippi-style drawl, especially in scenes where the professor unveils a plan to tunnel from the rented-out root cellar of an elderly priss (Soul Food’s Irma P. Hall) to a riverboat casino. ”Tom is very aware,” says Wayans. ”Of where the camera’s at, where to play his looks. [He’s] just so technically sound…. You sit there and you’re learning s — -.” (March 26)