Posted on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Wes Jones‘ script College Republicans, a dramedy which centers on the early days of Republican strategist Karl Rove, made the Black List in 2010 and was soon rumored as a Richard Linklater film with Shia LaBeouf possibly starring.
Some things have changed, but it looks like the film is definitely going to happen. Rather than Shia taking the lead, it looks like Paul Dano will play the young Rove as he has some of his early experiences in national politics with Lee Atwater, who later became advisor and strategist to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
The Wrap says Dano is “officially attached” to play Rove, with the info coming from financing producer Maya Browne. The film will shoot in Austin in November, making it Linklater’s immediate follow-up to his true-story murder comedy Bernie.
The producer says the film “”is about when Karl Rove and Lee Atwater first met, which is when Karl Rove ran for president of the College Republicans, and that’s when they sort of discovered dirty tricks. It’s interesting to see them take that journey together.”
‘Dirty tricks’ is a phrase commonly applied to Rove’s strategies and media machinations — there’s no question that the guy got results, especially for George W. Bush, who nicknamed Rove ‘Turdblossom.’ Rove became one of the left-wing’s most hated figures during W’s years in office. His defiantly manipulative stance on politics made him easy to hate, and easy to fault, regardless of the results he got. Seeing the evolution of Rove’s totally dirty approach to politics should make for a great film, however, and Dano is a great choice for the role.
And lest you’re concerned about Dano’s total lack of resemblance to Rove in later life, consider the header image, which shows the mid-’70s Rove flanking Dano. The Rove on the left looks more like a Rove who would actually espouse the ideas of the left — he sported quite the longhaired pinko image in ’73.