George Clooney has been wanting to direct a big screen adaptation of the play Farragut North for the last three years, and it looks like he's finally going to move the project into production. The story is a political drama about campaign dirty tricks and was written by former Democratic political operative Beau Willimon.
Vulture is reporting that Clooney will start shooting the film in February and that it will star Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and possibly Chris Pine. This is a great cast of actors that has been gathered together to tell this story. Vulture explains the films story a little further,
Willimon (who also wrote the initial draft of the movie adaptation) was inspired to write the screenplay after his work campaigning for Howard Dean in 2004. Accordingly, the story is set in Des Moines, Iowa, just weeks before the state’s Democratic caucuses officially commence; it follows the exploits of a twentysomething presidential campaign spinmeister/wunderkind named Stephen Myers, and the dirty pool he plays to get his candidate the nomination against a rival senator.
Sources say that Leonardo DiCaprio was actually attached to take on the role of Myers, but has since backed out. Clooney is now trying to bring Chris Pine on board to fill the role, who played the character in the L.A. stage production. Brad Pitt also originally wanted to play the other major role in the film of Paul Zara, Myers's hard-bitten veteran boss on the trail. Unfortunately due to his busy schedule he was unable to work it out, so Hoffman is the man who will step in the shoes of the character.
Giamatti will play the campaign manager of the rival candidate, and Clooney has offers out to Evan Rachel Wood who would play a teen staffer with whom Myers has a sexual dalliance. He's also looking to bring on Marisa Tomei to play a probing journalist. Clooney also plans take a small role in the movie as well, which might end up being the candidate who is a minor character in the screenplay.
Here’s a synopsis of the play from stage production:
Set against the backdrop of a close presidential race, Stephen is a young press secretary working for a fast-rising candidate. With confidence and power beyond his years, he’s convinced that he and seasoned campaign manager, Paul, can steer their team into the west wing without breaking a sweat. But before the polls close at the primaries, Stephen’s perceived invincibility is shattered as he falls prey to backroom politics, the manipulations of veteran operatives and the wiles of a seductive young intern. With quick-witted banter and an inside look into the world of politics, Farragut North is a timely tale of hubris, loyalty and the lust for power.
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