A couple of months back is when I first heard some rumors and rumblings about a possible new movie project about our current president George W. Bush. The news became very interesting because attached, as director/producer was none other than legendary filmmaker Oliver Stone. Well, not only is this film really happening but a nearly entire cast has already been put together and a release date has been set for some time in 2009.
Just after his stirring performance in the Coen Brothers No Country for Old Men, Josh Brolin has signed on to play GW, with the lovely and extremely talented Elizabeth Banks slated to portray Mrs. Laura Bush. The legendary screen thespian and Actor Studio director Ellen Burstyn is apparently going to be playing Barbara Bush and James Cromwell is set to take on the role of Bush senior. Also, as if that isn’t enough, one of my personal favorite actors Mr. Paul Giamatti is in talks to play the infamous Karl Rove. As far as casting information that is everything that’s been released so far, but given Stone’s propensity for using lots and lots of big-name actors in his films we will probably be seeing some strong additions to this line-up as they move closer to production.
With all the drama that has come about since Bush has taken office it’s pretty obvious that there is no shortage of possible subjects and angles in which a filmmaker could take this project. I’m just wondering what direction Stone is leaning, or if he plans on taking on the whole kit and caboodle. One doesn’t have to go back too far to remember another film about a legendary president in which Stone took it upon himself to try and encompass the entirety of Nixon’s political tenure into one movie. Now, to me I feel that Nixon was a monumental accomplishment, but there were many people, political historians and film critics alike, that felt the film was an overindulgent propaganda piece that contained no more truth than one of Mr. Nixon’s many political promises.
We will just have to wait and see in order to pass judgment on Stone’s latest undertaking. HBO films apparently has a new film coming out entitled Recount starring Kevin Spacey that is supposed to be covering all the hoopla surrounding the 2000 presidential elections. I’m guessing that this subject will also be a large part of Stone’s film because of the importance and controversy wrapped up in Bush’s win. I must admit though, looking back at it all that seems to be a rather small bump in the grand scheme of things. The handling of 9/11 and the following war in Iraq appear to me to be vastly more important subjects, but who knows, it’s left up to the director and writers preferences.
The other interesting possibility is exactly what light GW is going to be shown in. I wonder if his role will be portrayed more as a patsy than a leader. As someone who was manipulated into making decisions that perhaps he wasn’t previously given all the appropriate information in order to correctly respond. I’m thinking of a world in which Bush was handled and falsely forced into situations that he had no more control over then the weather. There has been a lot of talk that this is very much a possibility, that this particular angle may just be the foundation of the entire project. If one thing is usually true about Oliver Stone it’s that he generally chooses the road less traveled, and when it comes to films, the road is that much more muddy.
It would be an understatement to say that I’m very much looking forward to this film being released. In the past Stone has had to deal with some pretty tough opposition in regards to his films and gaining access to all the materials necessary to most accurately tell his stories. They only need to search his history to know that he will press on stubbornly regardless of the obstacles placed in front of him. They would be better off just handing over what ever he needs and getting the heck out of his way because it only serves to tell the most proper and honest telling of a given subject. In this instance the subject is our President, and not some far removed character from the annals of time. This is a sitting President or at least only one year removed, so getting it right should be of the highest priority. Not that it isn’t always crucial to be right but in the modern era of Internet news and media craziness, one cannot afford to be even just a little bit off. Lets all hope that Oliver has laced up his boots tight and put it all together, in exactly the same fashion as we’ve become so accustomed over the years.
Go Oliver! Get your thing on. See Ya next time.
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