George Bush will have the dubious honor of having his life story portrayed on the big screen in an Oliver Stone movie, though Stone says it will not be an anti-Bush film.
Bush will be played by Josh Brolin, stepson of the virulently anti-Bush Hollywood liberal Barbra Streisand.
Stone, the ultra-leftist Hollywood producer best known for his admiration for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Venezuela's communist dictator Hugo Chavez who called Bush the devil, and the man behind controversial films such as "Nixon," "JFK," and "Platoon" insists he'll be fair despite his reputation as a harsh critic of the president and the war in Iraq.
"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 Daily 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 declined to give Variety his personal opinion of the president, saying "I can't give you that, because the filmmaker has to hide in the work. Here, I'm the referee, and I want a fair, true portrait of the man. How did Bush go from an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world?
"It's like Frank Capra territory on one hand, but I'll also cover the demons in his private life, his bouts with his dad and his conversion to Christianity, which explains a lot of where he is coming from. It includes his 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."
With a script written by "Wall Street" co-writer Stanley Weiser, the film will be produced by Moritz Borman, who teamed with Stone on "World Trade Center" and "Alexander," and Jon Kilik, a producer of "Alexander" as well as "Pinkville," the pre-strike project about the Army's investigation of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam that Stone expected to direct until United Artists pulled the plug late last year according to Variety.
Stone, who declined to reveal his opinion of the president told Variety he looked carefully at actors before setting his sights on Brolin, who starred in whose career has "No Country for Old Men" and "American Gangster."
"Josh is actually better looking than Bush but has the same drive and charisma that Americans identify with Bush, who has some of that old-time movie-star swagger," Stone said. The movie won't be filmed until Bush has left the White House.
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