George Clooney Wants Ryan Gosling For 'Farragut North'

Ryan Gosling is back in a big way. He got great notes for his work in Blue Valentine; he's shooting Drive right now, under the direction of Nicolas Winding Refn; and he's got a Steve Carell comedy to shoot soon and the Andrew Jarecki film All Good Things finally about to release.

And now George Clooney reportedly wants him for the lead role in Farragut North, which Mr. Clooney plans to direct.

Deadline says that Mr. Gosling would get the lead role, which was once a possibility for Leonardo DiCaprio and, last we heard, a likely prospect for Chris Pine, who played it to no small acclaim on stage.

This is our only update on the project, but that's a significant one. Deadline says that Smoke House, the company run by George Clooney and Grant Heslov, is producing, but hasn't revealed who is financing or if there's any plan to distribute. One would expect that a distro deal would come together given the prestige of Clooney as director based on the play by former Howard Dean campaign aide Beau Williamson.

Then there's the rest of the cast. Last time we checked in, Philip Seymour Hoffman was set, with Paul Giamatti likely to take a key role and offers out to Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei.


Farragut North was born out of Howard Dean's 2004 campaign for the Presidential nomination. Author Beau Williamson  worked Dean's campaign and set his play in Des Moines, Iowa, kicking off just before the Iowa caucuses and following the political maneuvering and backstabbing undertaken to score a nomination for one Democratic candidate.

Ryan Gosling would have the lead role of twentysomething political mastermind Stephen Meyers. Philip Seymour Hoffman has taken the role of Paul Zara, Meyer's "veteran boss on the [campaign] trail." And Giamatti would be the campaign leader for an opposing candidate. Offers are out to Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei, who could play a young woman with whom Pine's character has a liason, and an investigative journalist, respectively.