TO: Mike Curtiz
FROM: Hal Wallis
I have been going over with Trilling the possibilities for the part of "Laszlo" and, aside from Philip Dorn, whom we cannot get, and Paul Henreid who I am sure will not play the part when he reads it, there is no one else that I can think of. I think you should satisfy yourself on this point; that is, that there is no one available, and then begin to adjust yourself to the thought that we might have to use someone of the type of Dean Jagger, Ian Hunter or Herbert Marshall, or someone of this type without an accent.
I am as anxious as you are to have a type like Philip Dorn in the part, but if there is no one available there is just nothing that we can do about it.
Hal Wallis__________DATE: May 1, 1942TO: Hal WallisFROM: Steve TrillingRE: Paul Henreid for CasablancaDiscussed making a separate picture deal with his agent first before talking to Henreid. As you know, we have been trying to work out a deal to take over his RKO contract —and one of the deterrents was Henreid's reluctance to assign himself here exclusively— and then possibly be relegated to small parts. In this respect, you are aware by this time, he is a bit of a ham —and until the negotiations for the RKO deal are behind us— which should be in the next few days— I think we should let this separate picture deal ride...An obstacle we encountered in consummating the original deal was the billing situation —and after great persuasion, we got him to accept a special billing clause for the first two pictures — thereafter, he was to be starred or co-starred and I think if he gets assurance of co-star billing with Bogart and Bergman, it would clinch the matter. This might not be such a bad idea if we really are attempting to build him.Steve Trilling__________DATE: May 1, 1942SUBJECT: "Casablanca"TO: Steve TrillingFROM: Hal WallisIf we can get Henreid for Casablanca, we will give him co-star billing with Bogart and Bergman.Hal Wallis
Source: Inside Warner Bros. (1935-1951) (1985), selected and edited by Rudy Behlmer.