Oliver Stone is coming out shooting.
In less than two weeks, the controversial J.F.K. and Nixon filmmaker will begin production on his new feature about the current occupant of the White House – a film to be called, simply, W – for a proposed release this fall, possibly even in time for the November presidential election.
With a first look at the two principals playing George W. and Laura Bush, Josh Brolin and The 40-Year-Old Virgin‘s Elizabeth Banks, in full makeup, and a behind-the-scenes story on how the project came together, the new issue of Entertainment Weekly reports on both the speculation about the movie and the facts – especially as filmmaker Stone sees them.
Promising the film will be a “fair, true portrait of the man,” Stone, 61, tells EW about W: “Bush may turn out to be the worst president in history. I think history is going to be very tough on him. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a great story.”
In his protagonist’s favor, says Stone, “The fact that he had to overcome the shadow of his father and the weight of his family name – you have to admire his tenacity.”
Despite the swiftly approaching start date, yet to be cast is the role of Dick Cheney (Stone denies Robert Duvall declined the offer, and there’s no corroboration about wooing of Paul Giamatti) – or any comment from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Still, says Brolin, 40, about the character he will soon inhabit: “I’ve been watching video of Bush walking. People hold their emotion in their bodies. They can’t fake it. Especially him.”