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Oliver Stone to Direct Bush Biopic

Monday, 21 Jan 2008 09:00 AM

By James Hirsen

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Oliver Stone apparently loves making movies about Republican presidents.

The director of “Nixon” is set to direct a biopic on the life and presidency of another GOP prez — George W. Bush. The film is tentatively titled “Bush.”

Barbra Streisand’s stepson, Josh Brolin, plans to portray Dubya.

Josh’s dad, James Brolin, played President Ronald Reagan in the deeply flawed, highly criticized TV miniseries, “The Reagans.”

Production on the film involving our current president will most likely begin in Spring 2008, with the movie coming to a theater near you in the thick of the fall presidential campaign.

“It's a behind-the-scenes approach, similar to ‘Nixon,’ to give a sense of what it's like to be in his skin,” Stone told Variety.

“But if 'Nixon' was a symphony, this is more like a chamber piece, and not as dark in tone. 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,” Stone explained.

Stone said that the film will include Bush’s “belief that God personally chose him to be president of the United States, and his coming into his own with the stunning, pre-emptive attack on Iraq.”

“It will contain surprises for Bush supporters and his detractors,” Stone claimed.

One question Stone asked provides some insight into the director’s mind and the film’s possible slant: “How did Bush go from an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world?”

In other Left Coast news, Daniel Day-Lewis, Angelina Jolie, Julie Christie, Cate Blanchett and George Clooney are wishing, hoping, and maybe even praying. They are potential nominees and/or presenters for this year’s Oscars, and they don’t want to be part of a Golden Globes redux.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences claims to have a way to put on the Oscar telecast even if the writers fail to settle.

The Oscars are the second most-watched TV show in the nation next to the Super Bowl, bringing in 60 to 80 million dollars in revenue for ABC.

A press conference show like the Globes just won’t cut it.

After the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) made a deal that included residual payments for Internet revenue, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) felt the heat and decided to resume negotiations with studio execs.

The Directors Guild contract doesn’t include some of the items that the writers have been trying to obtain, such as jurisdiction over reality shows and animation.

From my perspective, it’s doubtful that the studios would be willing to settle in a way that’s significantly different from the deal they made with the directors.

James Hirsen is a media analyst, Trinity Law School professor and teacher of mass media law at Biola University.

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