2012 was a heated year for Presidential politics, with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney vying for the position of Commander-in-Chief and the battle of ideologies dominating every facet of pop culture. Movies and television also did their fair share of respectful homage-ing to the Head of State, with Daniel Day-Lewis' stirring portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Spielberg's Lincoln (and the vampire-hunting alternative), Jordan Peele finding room to mock our sitting Prez in Key and Peele, and Bill Murray finding the swinger side of America's only four-termer, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in this weekend's Hyde Park on the Hudson. History teachers across the country have never been prouder of what they do than in the last 365 days.
Presidents were this year's hot item on the big and small screens, but pop culture has always been obsessed with dressing up actors to look like the men who fill our text books. Inspired by 2012's trend, Hollywood.com has combed through cinematic history to whip up this handy infographic, chronicling decades of Presidential appearances in pop culture. In the end, one thing is clear: Futurama did a lot in the name of presidential representation.
Check below the image for the key, revealing the actor assigned to each president.
Click to EnlargeDavid Morse as George Washington in John AdamsWilliam Daniels as John Adams in 1776Nick Nolte as Thomas Jefferson in Jefferson in ParisBurgess Meredith as James Madison in Magnificent DollMorgan Wallace as James Monroe in Alexander HamiltonAnthony Hopkins as John Quincy Adams in AmistadCharlton Heston as Andrew Jackson in The President's LadyNigel Hawthorne as Martin Van Buren in AmistadDavid Clennon as William Henry Harrison in Tecumseh (1994)John Tyler in FuturamaJames K. Polk in FuturamaJames Gammon as Zachary Taylor in One Man's HeroMillard Fillmore has never been portrayedFranklin Pierce in FuturamaJames Buchanan has never been portrayedDaniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in LincolnDennis Clark as Andrew Johnson in The ConspiratorKevin Kline as Ulysses S. Grant in Wild Wild WestJohn DiMaggio as Rutherford B. Hayes in FuturamaFrancis Sayles as James A. Garfield in The Night RidersMaurice LaMarche as Chester A. Arthur in Futurama Pat McCormick as Grover Cleveland in FuturamaRoy Gordon as Benjamin Harrison in FuturamaPat McCormick as Grover Cleveland in FuturamaBrian Keith as William McKinley in Rough RidersRobin Williams as Theodore Roosevelt in Night at the Museum: Battle of the SmithsonianWalter Massey as William Howard Taft in The Greatest Game Ever PlayedBob Gunton as Woodrow Wilson in Iron Jawed AngelsWarren G. Harding in FuturamaCalvin Coolidge in FuturamaHerbert Hoover in FuturamaBill Murray as Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park on the HudsonGary Sinise as Harry S. Truman in TrumanTom Selleck as Dwight D. Eisenhower in Ike: Countdown to D-DayBruce Greenwood as John F. Kennedy Thirteen DaysRandy Quaid as Lyndon B. Johnson in LBJ: The Early YearsDan Hedaya as Richard Nixon in DickDick Crockett as Gerald Ford in Pink Panther Strikes AgainDan Aykroyd as Jimmy Carter in Saturday Night LiveJames Brolin as Ronald Reagan in The ReagansJames Cromwell as George H. W. Bush in W.Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton in The Special RelationshipTimothy Bottoms as George W. Bush in That's My Bush!Jordan Peele as Barack Obama in Key and Peele
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Illustration by Hollywood.com; Photo Credits: Comedy Central (12); HBO (4); Columbia Pictures (2); Warner Bros (2); DreamWorks (2); 20th Century Fox (3); NBC(2); Touchstone Pictures; Universal Pictures; Turner Pictures; Paramount Pictures; Orion Pictures; Roadside Attractions; Republic Pictures; TNT; Buena Vista Pictures; Focus Features; A&E; New Line; United Artists; Showtime; Lionsgate; iStockphoto]
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UPDATE: In an unfortunate turn of events, HBO has announced that it will not be pursuing a TV movie based on the life and work of Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes. Deadline shares a statement from HBO Films President Len Amato, admitting, "It had become clear to us before even receiving a script that due to our company’s CNN affiliation the film could never be seen as objective."
This means no network-driven crime syndicates, no bloodsucking news anchors, no awkward social encounters with Chris Wallace. C'est la vie...
EARLIER: There was a time when HBO was all about the Mafia, in-penitentiary crime, and horse murder. But the network has taken a much darker turn lately: now, it's all about politics. Think about all of HBO's recent projects: the Sarah Palin film Game Change, the vice presidential satire Veep, the inside look at the world of punditry that is The Newsroom. Even Game of Thrones couldn't pass up an opportunity to stick George W. Bush's head on a skewer. And now, Deadline reports that the network is opting for a new addition to this trend: a TV movie about Roger Ailes, the present Fox News chairman and former presidential media consultant.
The untitled project comes from writer Gabriel Sherman, who himself has written articles on the controversial Ailes for New York Magazine (you can read his famous piece "The Elephant in the Green Room" here to get a taste of what kind of perspective the HBO movie will take). Of course, HBO isn't all about spouting some agenda. The network is one of the most accomplished venues for storytelling in the spectrum of contemporary television. Plus, it's not as though the issues Sherman raises in his articles aren't thematically rich for good TV. But considering how dull some consider The Newsroom to be, the network might look into spicing things up, perhaps taking a lesson from one of its own, more successful programs...
In this vision of Sherman's articles, Ailes must maintain order in the seaside Fox News headquarters, bribing fact-checkers and murdering CNN reps to keep things going his way.
Perhaps the network can use vampires to represent the plight of the Fox News journalist, with werewolves as NBC anchors, and whatever Sookie Stackhouse is as Jon Stewart.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The greatest incarnation of them all: poor, misunderstood Roger Ailes ambles about his mega-corporation, getting into awkward encounters that result in worldwide news debacles. Occasionally guest starring Ted Danson.
Only time will tell what sort of movie HBO will make of Roger Ailes' story. And with all these inspiring programs at bay, there are countless possibilities of what the project will eventually turn into. It could be like any one of them. Boardwalk, True Blood, Curb... but not probably Girls. Some experiments are best left untread.
[Image Credit: HBO]
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