Director Clint Eastwood may have entered his 8th decade this year but age doesn’t appear to be slowing the man down as a filmmaker. Over the last decade he has put out some complex, deep and emotionally satisfying films including Mystic River, Changeling and Million Dollar Baby (to name but a few).
His latest film is a supernatural thriller called Hereafter starring Matt Damon and after that he’ll move onto a biopic about J. Edgar Hoover, simply titled, Hoover.
The script for Hoover was written by the Academy Award-winning Dustin Lance Black (Milk) and will supposedly tell the story of Hoover not just in regards to his founding of the F.B.I but also his personal life where he was believed to be a closeted homosexual and cross-dresser.
An interesting casting rumor popped up last month stating that Eastwood wanted actor-turned-rapper-turned-actor Joaquin Phoenix to play Clyde Tolsen, Hoover’s suspected gay lover. But those hoping to see that are out of luck as Eastwood has personally debunked that rumor.
Speaking with Reuters recently, Eastwood responded head on to the Phoenix casting rumor - “No. I don’t know where that came from…didn’t he become a rapper?” There’s always a chance that Eastwood is shrewdly keeping Phoenix’s casting a secret but by the sounds of it the director has no plans to cast Phoenix in his movie.
Those hoping for star-power to attract them to Hoover can still rest easy, though, as Eastwood confirmed that Leonardo DiCaprio is definitely set to play Hoover (Black also confirmed that when he spoke about the film recently). Nothing has been made official yet, but Eastwood said that they’re in the process of signing DiCaprio. “It’s a great role for him,” Eastwood said.
With regards to how Hoover’s life will be explored in the biopic, Eastwood had this to say:
“He was a very complex person. The homosexual aspect is just one of many. I would say that’s the least of his problems. But he was also very clever, whether rightfully or wrongfully, he was very clever about keeping himself in a certain position in life, so it is an interesting study.”
Black’s experience and talent with this type of biopic should serve Hoover well and needless to say Eastwood is a brilliant director who can handle a wide variety of subject matter and genres, always combining heavy-hitting drama with a real sense of enjoyment and gratification. Is there any doubt Hoover will be any different?
Before he moves on to Hoover (which will start shooting early next year), you can catch Eastwood’s latest film, Hereafter, when it opens in limited release this Friday and wide release next Friday, October 22nd.