The world's most handsome and charming man, George Clooney, is practically a politician -- (hell, he just did a movie called The American), so it makes sense he'd want to bring politics to the big screen.
Vulture reports that Clooney will direct and begin shooting the adaptation of the off-Broadway play, Farragut North, a drama about the dirty tricks of politics during a campaign written by former Democratic political operative Beau Willimon, in February. The star-studded cast will include Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, and potentially Chris Pine. (Uh, hello Oscars!)
Willimon, who also wrote the first draft of the movie adaptation, was inspired after his work on Howard Dean's 2004 campaign (remember, the one where Dean freaked-the-eff-out?). The story, which sounds quite interesting, follows presidential campaign manager wonder-kid Stephen Myers and his dirty ploys to get his candidate nominated against a rival during the Iowa Caucuses. Although Leonardo DiCaprio was original set to play Myers, he backed out. Reports point to Clooney offering Chris Pine the role after the Star Trek-star delivered a critically-acclaimed performance of the character on stage last year in Los Angeles. If that's true and he gets the part, it will be a great opportunity for Pine to jump on his Star Trek momentum, and move into consideration as a go-to leading man in Hollywood.
After a scheduling conflict with Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman stepped in to play the other major role: Paul Zara, Myer's veteran boss on the campaign trail and definitely a perfect fit for Hoffman. After his dynamic performance (and an Oscar nomination) as CIA Operative Gust Avrakotos in Charlie Wilson's War, watching how the actor deals with more political undertones is exciting. Plus, everything Hoffman touches tends to turn to gold -- except for maybe Mission Impossible III (but he was still good!).
Paul Giamatti brings his political acting from the terrific HBO John Adams mini-series to the 21st century, starring as the campaign manager of the rival candidate. Clooney has also offered the ever-sexy Evan Rachel Wood to play, well, a sexy teen staffer that Myers has a relationship with, along with Marisa Tomei as a pesky, probing journalist. Clooney may also take the very small role as the candidate.
Even though Clooney is based in Sony, Farragut North will be independently produced (so you know, that automatically makes it better). Currently French indie financier Philippe Rousselet is rumored to be holding the cash for the project.
If all these rumors are true, Mr. Clooney has gathered quite an impressive cast. As said earlier, don't be surprised to hear some Oscar talk (especially considering we're already talking about it, and the film isn't even financed yet -- yikes!).
Portman is in talks to star in Best Buds, about a woman who embarks on a California road trip on the eve of her wedding - and relies on the powers of marijuana and her pals to soothe her woes.
According to Daily Variety, Portman will produce the film with Vendome Pictures' CEO Philippe Rousselet. The pair is looking for a filmmaker to direct.
A shooting schedule has not yet been released.
Philippe Rousselet's Vendome Pictures will team with Mark Gordon on the sci-fi thriller Source Code, a star vehicle for Jake Gyllenhaal, the trades report.
Moon director Duncan Jones will step behind the camera on the film for which Summit has already pre-sold rights to more than 15 territories at the AFM.
The story follows a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown commuter and is forced to live and relive a train bombing until he can find the perpetrator. Ben Ripley wrote the screenplay with revisions from Billy Ray.
Production is set for first quarter 2010. Summit will release in the US. CAA packaged and arranged financing for the film.
The project had originally been set up at Universal in early 2007 when the studio bought Ripley's screenplay and attached Topher Grace to star, Variety notes.
Mark Gordon will produce with Rousselet. Rousselet is a French producer of such films as Andrew Niccol's Lord of War. He set up Vendome with Fabrice Gianfermi a year ago, backed by a $115 million revolving credit facility funded by a consortium of banks.