Right on the heels of the announcement that Elizabeth Banks would play the First Lady in Oliver Stone's ever-so-timely biopic of President George W. Bush (which is surely, as Erik Davis put it in the above-linked post, "one of the strangest projects in recent years"), Variety reports that James Cromwell and Ellen Burstyn have been cast as George H.W. and Barbara. Josh Brolin is already set to play Dubya himself. The film is called simply W.

Cromwell is an expert at playing United States Presidents. He's portrayed fictional heads of state in The Sum of All Fears and an episode of The West Wing, as well as the extremely non-fictional Lyndon B. Johnson in the 2002 made-for-TV movie RFK. He's also played Senators, high-ranking military officials, and WIlliam Randolph Hearst. If anything, I'm worried that he might be too presidential for the role of the folksy George H.W. As for Burstyn, well -- if she can convincingly paint her face blue and run shrieking through the forest trying to kill Nicolas Cage in a bear suit, Barbara Bush should be a cinch.

Stone hopes to have the film ready before Bush leaves office next January, which is a pretty impressive turnaround as presidential biopics go. And while I usually have some sort of conception of what to expect from an upcoming release, I cannot even begin to imagine what W will be like. Can we expect more hysterical conspiracy-mongering à la JFK? The unexpectedly toned-down empathy of Nixon? The excruciating boredom of Alexander? The mind reels.
categories Movies, Cinematical