Kim Voynar’s report from the Cannes press conference for The Changeling, Clint Eastwood’s new film, doesn’t reveal anything particularly new, but I’ve found enough people still have misconceptions about Clint’s next film, Gran Torino, that it’s worth talking about again:
Gran Torino is not a Dirty Harry movie.
This all started with a hoax sent to Aint It Cool News – a hoax so blatant I remain shocked that it got run 11 or 12 years into that site’s career. The title of Clint’s next film had been released, but nothing else was known, and someone claimed to be the owner of a Gran Turino who had been approached by the production to purchase the car. Here’s where plausibility got stretched: the hoaxer claimed that the production essentially gave him a detailed breakdown of the plot of Gran Torino, which would see the (established as childless) Harry Callahan come out of retirement to aid his or revenge his grandson (I forget the details, as they were bullshit).
FilmJerk found out some much more believable details – namely that Gran Torino is about an old racist man who has a Hmong family move in next door; he and the family’s kid bond over the titular old car. According to FilmJerk, Clint would be playing the old racist.
I believe their report, even if the casting aspect might be off, if Clint is telling the complete truth in the Cannes press conference. Here’s Voynar’s report (she hasn’t transcribed it yet, so I can’t pull quotes):
Eastwood said that for one thing, he’s just too old to be believably
playing the role of a working cop at this point, and that while he
enjoyed the role and saying “do I feel lucky?” he’s more interested in
being behind the camera at this point than in front of it, which is
just where he is now at this point in his career.
So is the geezer stepping away from starring in Gran Torino? The film is scheduled to come out in December, so we’ll know soon enough. In the meantime, I would take this much as gospel: we’ve seen our last Dirty Harry movie. Starring Clint as Harry, anyway. You can bet there will be a remake within the next few years.