Movie to be Based on Clifford Irving, Howard Hughes Hoax Author

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LASSE HALLSTROM recently shot a film that retells a decades-old story some of the players would rather forget. Speaking by phone from New York, Mr. Hallstrom, the highly regarded Swedish director, was clear about one thing: to make a movie about Clifford Irving isn't necessarily to love him.

Mr. Irving is still remembered as the writer who nearly pulled off one of the most audacious scams in publishing: an "autobiography" of Howard Hughes, based on in-person interviews of the reclusive billionaire, which was in fact completely bogus.

"The Hoax," directed by Mr. Hallstrom, with a permed and sideburned Richard Gere as the 70's-era Mr. Irving, also stars Alfred Molina as Mr. Irving's co-writer and sidekick, Richard Suskind, and Marcia Gay Harden as Mr. Irving's wife Edith. Filmed over 49 days, mostly in and around New York City, the picture is set for release by Miramax Films next year.

But Mr. Irving is already complaining that the film takes so many creative liberties, that it will be "a hoax about a hoax."

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