Posted on Thursday, June 17th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
Back in March, a bunch of news came out about a biopic of founding FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Milk‘s Dustin Lance Black wrote the script, and it was at Universal before the studio passed. The film ended up at Warner Bros. and Malpaso Productions, with Clint Eastwood set to direct. There was a rumor that Leonardo DiCaprio was poised to star as Hoover, and that casting is now confirmed.
Deadline says that the film is fast-tracked at Warners, no surprise given the performance of Eastwood’s Gran Torino, which was a sleeper hit in theaters and has done quite well on DVD and On Demand. Production will begin later this year. Hopefully we’ll get an actual title to go along with the film. Right now it’s just an Untitled J. Edgar Hoover Project.
Kind of a wild setup for Leonardo DiCaprio, too — with this and his Howard Hughes performance from The Aviator under his belt, he’ll have played two of the country’s most eccentric, powerful men. Someone needs to cast him as Henry Ford in a film based on Fordlandia for the hat trick. (Not familiar with Fordlandia? Great interview here discussing it.)
I’m still really interested to read this script. (Got it? Let us know!) Hoover was reportedly a cross-dresser and some claim he was homosexual, and I can see Black devoting time not only to Hoover’s reported sexuality, but the fact that he persecuted others for their preferences. Hoover would wield elements of the FBI and other federal energy to control and subvert the civil rights of those he considered enemies and dangers to democracy. He would compile information about the sexual preferences of some subjects, and reportedly used it to discredit them. Regardless of the truth behind the gay/cross-dressing rumor (an image that may have bloomed simply as a way to use Hoover’s own smear campaigns against him) there’s so much material in Hoover’s story that Black, Eastwood and DiCaprio will have loads of stuff to draw on.