Veteran actor/director Warren Beatty has finally completed his piece on aviation and Hollywood eccentric Howard Hughes, a film that was 40 years in the making.


Beatty saw Hughes in a hotel in the early 70s and has been working on a film about the man ever since. The final product, Rules Don’t Apply, is due out in theaters on Nov. 23. Beatty both directs the project and also stars as Hughes.

Set in the late 50s, Rules Don’t Apply follows Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins) as she ventures out to Hollywood with her mother to become a female contract player at RKO, the film studio Hughes took over in 1948. There, she meets Frank (Alden Ehrenreich), and they fall into a romance forbidden by Hughes and the studio.

The film’s title comes from a line in the film that Frank says to Marla when she is feeling self-conscious about herself compared to all the sexy blondes who get the big acting gigs. She later turns it into a song.

“Even with Collins and Ehrenreich, this is still his movie through and through,” says reviewer Neil Pond referring to Beatty. “It all revolves around the sad, odd gravity of its soft-focused central character, a man who loved women, airplanes and banana nut ice cream and who lived out his final days in strange shadows of seclusion and self-isolation as a prisoner of his obsessions, phobias and kinks.”

Viewers can tell this movie has been in the works for 40 years – every theme, character, and actor chosen and expanded upon. However, like Hughes’s famously failed Spruce Goose, Rules Don’t Apply is “a big cumbersome, well-intentioned project that just gets off the ground but never really soars, and it’s probably not going to go very fat with contemporary audiences.”

Watch the trailer below.

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