Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black Talks About Eastwood’s ‘Hoover’ Biopic

Published 5 years ago by , Updated July 12th, 2013 at 10:31 am,

Dustin Lance Black penned the Oscar-winning script for director Gus Van Sant’s Harvey Milk biopic, Milk.  The writer will tackle the life of another famous historical figure in his next screenplay, Hoover, which is set to be directed by Clint Eastwood.

Black spoke with Movieline near the end of last week’s Toronto International Film Festival and confirmed that Leonardo DiCaprio is set to play J. Edgar Hoover.  He went on to reveal that he has completed his script for Hoover and that filming is scheduled to begin early next year.

While Black did not elaborate on rumors that Joaquin Phoenix may join Hoover as well, he did offer an interesting tidbit concerning the structure of the film:

” ‘Hoover’ is not as linear and traditional as Milk – but it didn’t need to be… People know Hoover – or think they know Hoover – and that’s great as a writer because you’re free as a writer to explore other stuff…”

Black went on to reveal that Hoover will be told from the perspective of the F.B.I. founder and that he believes “Hoover never let anyone in.  And because of that – and the contradiction between what he believes his history was and what his history actually was – it [the 'Hoover' screenplay] lends itself to a less-traditional structure.”

J. Edgar Hoover1 Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black Talks About Eastwoods Hoover Biopic

Hoover was a controversial public official who was long rumored to have been – among other things – a closeted homosexual and cross-dresser in his personal life.  Black’s screenplay may either touch directly on these issues or could focus more on Hoover’s career with the F.B.I., leaving the hot topic issues concerning the man’s personal life open to interpretation.

Eastwood is a generally reliable filmmaker and it will be interesting to see what approach he and Black take to the life of Hoover.  Their project sounds intriguing and has the potential to be more than just another run-of-the-mill biopic – it may offer some legitimate insight into the mental workings of a most fascinating individual.

Hoover begins filming early next year and should arrive in theaters by late 2011.

Source: Movieline

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  1. So I’m guessing leo will be at the Oscars next year.

  2. “Eastwood is a generally reliable filmmaker ..”

    Condescend much?

    • My apologies – that wasn’t my intention.

      I actually think Eastwood’s a great director who very rarely makes a bad film and will probably deliver something good with ‘Hoover.’

  3. As far as Hoover’s alleged homosexuality is concerned, there are no legitimate historians who believe he was a “cross dresser” and most will acknowledge there is no evidence that he was a homosexual. With all the enemies he had both within and outside the FBI – if there was a scintilla of evidence – it would have been exposed in an attempt to ruin him. The fact that he remained unmarried and had a life long male friend is the extent of the “evidence” used to smear his name.

    • This man had many secrets, one that no one seems willing to discuss is his biracial heritage. Look up photos of him as a young man and you will see what I mean. He “passed” as white his whole career.