Oliver Stone Casts Josh Brolin in Biopic About George W. Bush
There are two very big stories here. First, Oliver Stone (Any Given Sunday, Alexander, World Trade Center) is making a movie titled Bush, a film focusing on the life and presidency of our 43rd President, George W. Bush. Second, Stone has cast Josh Brolin in the lead role. Wait, so if I heard that correctly, Josh Brolin is going to play George W. Bush?! The report says that a script was quietly finished before the writers strike kicked in and is currently ready to shoot. Given the writers strike is still in effect, Stone can't work on Pinkville, his Vietnam War film, and instead must turn to his Bush script since it is ready to go.
The script for Bush was written by Stone's old NYU classmate Stanley Weiser, who also co-wrote Wall Street with Stone. If the money comes together, it's likely that Bush could head into production by April and could already be pushed into theaters by the election in November. Although Oliver Stone isn't the biggest George W. Bush supporter, his goal is not to create a biased film, but rather use seminal events in Bush's life to explain how he came to power. The structure will be similar to The Queen, a biopic from 2006 on Queen Elizabeth II.
Oliver Stone spoke with Variety about the project and the idea behind it, and here's what he had to say.
"It's a behind-the-scenes approach, similar to 'Nixon,' to give a sense of what it's like to be in his skin," Stone told Daily Variety. "But if 'Nixon' was a symphony, this is more like a chamber piece, and not as dark in tone. People have turned my political ideas into a cliche, but that is superficial. I'm a dramatist who is interested in people, and I have empathy for Bush as a human being, much the same as I did for Castro, Nixon, Jim Morrison, Jim Garrison and Alexander the Great."
I was actually looking forward to both Pinkville and Escobar, another biopic about Pablo Escobar. However, both of those seem to be on hold because of the strike. If Oliver Stone can really pull off something as incredible as The Queen, then I'm all for it. But Josh Brolin as Bush? That just doesn't seem right at all! I think Josh Brolin is an incredible actor who deserves an Oscar for one of his many great performances this year, but he just doesn't seem like Bush at all. What do you think?