October 26, 2016
        "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars        

George Clooney hitting campaign trail for “Farragut North”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: 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 FilmCritic.com, 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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