An upcoming Oliver Stone biopic about George Bush depicts him as a foul-mouthed reformed drunk who was obsessed with Saddam Hussein and has such a conflicted relationship with his father that he once challenged Bush Sr. to a fistfight.
The movie “W,” which Stone is set to begin filming on April 21, opens in the Oval Office with Bush and staffers discussing the term “axis of hatred” and deciding that “axis of evil” sounds better.
It then intercuts between various stages in Bush’s life, following him from his twenties to the White House and the aftermath of the Iraq invasion.
The Hollywood Reporter sent a copy of the screenplay to four Bush biographers for their comments, although the script is said to have undergone at least two rewrites since then.
The biographers’ reactions were mixed. According to the Hollywood Reporter, specific scenes are largely based on fact but others are inaccurate or over the top.
The script “leaves you with the impression that the White House is run as a fraternity house with no reverence for hierarchy, the office itself or for the implications of policy,” said Robert Draper, author of “Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush.”
But the screenplay’s portrayal of a tense relationship between Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney is largely on the mark, according to Peter Schweizer, author of “The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty.”
At one point Bush tells Cheney to “keep your ego in check.”
Schweizer told The Reporter: “I would say: true on the conflict. I don’t know specifically about the ‘ego in check.’ But there is no question you are dealing with strong personalities and there was tension and conflict.”
The film by the director of such movies as “JFK” and “Nixon” contains a good deal of stock footage and stars Josh Brolin as Bush and James Cromwell as his father.
Newsmax has learned that the “W” screenplay draft includes these highlights:President Bush frequently uses nicknames for aides, including “Turdblossom” for Karl Rove and “Balloon Foot” for Colin Powell.Asked if he planned to follow in his father’s footsteps and run for Congress, Bush tells a fraternity friend: “Hell no, that’s the last thing in the world I’d want to do.”George Bush Sr. has harsh words for the younger Bush after he gets arrested for helping to tear down the goalposts following a Yale football game.President Bush boasts to Cheney that he’s “the fastest president in history” and says of Bill Clinton: “Hell, my mother waddles faster than he can run.”Asked how likely it is that Saddam Hussein has nuclear weapons, Cheney tells Bush: “Personally, I think it’s close to a hundred percent.”Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld informs Bush that the American excursion into Iraq will take “six months at the most, as long as we don’t run into heavy camel traffic.”In a Texas bar, a hard-drinking, chain-smoking Bush in 1967 tells a young blonde named Judy that he wants to marry her — then dances drunkenly across the top of the bar. He later tells his father it was “just a fling.”That same year Bush Sr. tells his son that he “didn’t exactly serve your time in the National Guard” and urges him not to “drink and party your life away.” He also tells Bush Jr.: “You’ve disappointed me. Deeply disappointed me.”At age 26, a drunken Bush crashes his car into shrubbery outside the family home and when his father chastises him, he strikes a boxer’s pose and challenges Bush Sr. to “go mano a mano” with him.Bush terrifies a friend by taking him up in a single-engine plane and then nearly crashing it while under the influence of alcohol.Discussing with press secretary Ari Fleischer Bush’s justifications for going to war with Saddam, Bush declares: “I don’t like a—holes who try to kill my father.” He later tells Rumsfeld that Saddam tried to bomb his father’s car in Kuwait and “you don’t go after the Bushes and get to talk about it.” After his loss in his 1978 race for Congress from Texas, Bush — drunk again — tells a friend: “No way will I ever be out-Texaned or out Christianed again.”Bush complains that his father asked him to help in his 1988 presidential campaign “only ‘cause Jeb wasn’t available.”President Bush plots to paint an American recon plane in U.N. colors to see if Saddam will fire on it and thereby “justify retaliation.”Bush tells British Prime Minister Tony Blair that sectarian violence following an American invasion of Iraq is “just not in the cards,” adding that “Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, you know, in the end they’ll stick together, they’re all Muslims anyway.”Bush tells a televangelist in 1999: “I believe God wants me to run for president.”The movie ends in 2004 amid the ongoing sectarian violence in Iraq. Bush, one-time co-owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, retreats alone to his White House den to watch a Rangers game.
Bush imagines himself standing in centerfield in an empty Texas Rangers Stadium. Following the crack of a bat, “a ball, in slow motion, spirals upward through the air. He turns, raising his hands, searching for the ball, ready to catch it…
“But the ball never comes down.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, it’s uncertain if Oliver Stone’s movie will be released before the November elections.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.