May 23, 2017

George Clooney hitting campaign trail for “Farragut North”

By Sean O’Connell George Clooney needs to run for president.

He won’t. A friend actually asked me after our screening of “The American” when I thought Clooney would finally get into politics. I chuckled and relayed the standard answer Clooney keeps at the ready whenever a journalist asks him a similar question. I’m paraphrasing, but the charismatic Oscar winner always joked that he led far too checkered of a past to ever enter the political ring, and that he is very happy writing, directing and acting.

This, then, might be the closest Clooney gets to political office. Vulture reports the superstar is tackling a feature-film adaptation of Beau Willimon’s “Farragut North,” an off-Broadway play set in Iowa in the weeks leading up to the Democratic caucuses.
The site says Clooney will begin filming in February, and is going after Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, and “Star Trek” standout Chris Pine for his cast.

Pine would play Stephen Myers, a political spin-meister who relies on dirty tricks to secure his candidate the presidential nomination. At one point, the role was Leonardo DiCaprio’s, but Vulture’s sources say Clooney wants Pine after the actor excelled in the part in an L.A. stage production of the show last year.

Vulture goes on to elaborate on possible roles for Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei, as well as potential distribution deals for the film. Our advice? Keep the costs down. Audiences have shown a real aversion for political films, even with impressive ensembles. While I’ll gladly support anything Clooney attempts, he might want to tap Aaron Sorkin for a quick script pass if he hopes to bring “Farragut” to a more mainstream audience.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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