LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Director Oliver Stone, who has made movies about Presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, is developing a project about the current occupant of the White House, but promises it will not be a hatchet job, Daily Variety reported on Sunday.
Stone is in talks with Josh Brolin, who is starring in “No Country For Old Men,” to play the title role in “Bush,” the trade paper said.
He is shopping the script to financiers and hopes to start production by April, with a release date in time for the election in November, or the inauguration of Bush’s successor in January.
Stone told Daily Variety that he planned to make “a fair, true portrait” of Bush, focusing on such areas as his relationship with his father, President George H.W. Bush, his wild youth, and his conversion to Christianity.
“It will contain surprises for Bush supporters and his detractors,” said Stone.
He said Brolin was 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.”
A White House spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. Bush has acknowledged that he was a heavy drinker in his younger days, but has long been sober.
Stone, who has had his battles with drink and drugs, earned three Oscar nominations for his 1991 conspiracy film “JFK.” In 1996, he also received a script nomination for “Nixon,” which starred Anthony Hopkins. He won best directing Oscars for the Vietnam sagas “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July.”
Other historical figures reinterpreted by Stone include dead rock star Jim Morrison in “The Doors,” and Alexander the Great in “Alexander.”
In 2002, he shot a flattering documentary about Cuban leader Fidel Castro for HBO, but the pay-cable network told him to balance it with more footage about political prisoners on the communist island.
Stone’s efforts last year to film a documentary about another Bush nemesis, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also hit turbulence. His request for access was denied with an official reportedly dismissing the filmmaker as “part of the Great Satan.”
Reporting by Dean Goodman, editing by Philip Barbara