Armie Hammer pulled off a tricky double-act when he played the Winklevoss twins in David Fincher’s The Social Network. He may follow that performance by taking on a role in another real-life project from a high-profile filmmaker – namely, Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar Hoover biopic.
Hoover has been officially retitled J. Edgar and will star Leonardo DiCaprio as the controversial FBI founder. The well-respected leading man could be joined by both Hammer and Oscar-winner Charlize Theron, who is in talks to play Hoover’s longtime secretary.
EW has the scoop on the title change and the news that Hammer is in negotiations to play Clyde Tolson, a lawyer-turned FBI official – and loyal confidante to Hoover himself. Tolson has historically been rumored as having also been Hoover’s secret lover, an issue which will surely be addressed in Eastwood’s biopic – though, as the director himself put it, “[Hoover] was a very complex person. The [closet] homosexual aspect is just one of many. I would say that’s the least of his problems.”
Word of Theron joining J. Edgar comes from Vulture, who is reporting that the actress is up for the part of Justice Department file clerk Helen Gandy, a woman that ended up working for Hoover for over 54 years. Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black’s screenplay will likely pick up several years after Gandy and Hoover first met, since the former was 21 when the FBI head hired her, and (as lovely as they both are) neither DiCaprio nor Theron look like people in their early 20s any more.
Hoover was a fascinating individual who developed quite the intimidating reputation over the course of running the FBI for half a century (there’s a reason Bill Murray makes a crack about him destroying New York in the original Ghostbusters). Few would argue that DiCaprio won’t make for a more handsome Hoover than his real-life counterpart, but the actor should also be able to communicate the complex, and conflicted, nature of a man who will likely always remain a bit of a mystery.
Black crafted a solid script for Gus Van Sant’s acclaimed Harvey Milk biopic that examined a variety of aspects in the fellow’s personal life – while addressing his influence and behavior as a public figure. He’ll likely take a similar approach in his J. Edgar screenplay as well.
Filming on J. Edgar is scheduled to begin in early 2011 and the film could potentially arrive in theaters by the end of next year.