Josh Brolin brings new intelligence to the role of prez

By Emily Morgan

March 28, 2008 at 1:32pm

Casting has begun for Oliver Stone’s upcoming film W., which will tell the story of George W. Bush’s early years.

Josh Brolin will be taking on the role of commander-in-chief and Elizabeth Banks will play First Lady Laura Bush.

George H.W. Bush will be played by James Cromwell, opposite Ellen Burstyn as Barbara Bush.

Stone plans to team with Stanley Weiser, his co-writer on the film Wall Street, to write the screenplay for W. Also producing the film will be Moritz Borman and Jon Kilik, who worked with Stone on Alexander. Bill Block will also join the project as a producer.

The presidency is becoming a theme of Stone projects. He directed, produced, and wrote the films Nixon and JFK, and received Academy Award nominations for both films.

Stone’s political films are often controversial, threaded with conspiracy theories. JFK, a composite of fact and opinion, suggests that a government plot led to John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

It’s likely that Stone will approach the career of George W. Bush with a critical lens. He did not support Bush in either election, contributing to Al Gore’s campaign in 2000, and John Kerry’s in 2004. He has contributed to the 2008 campaigns of John Edwards and Barack Obama.

However, Stone told Variety in January, “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.”

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