After starring in the supposedly real but actually fake “documentary” I’m Still Here, Joaquin Phoenix appears to be getting back into acting even after announcing he was quitting (a publicity stunt for said documentary). One of the projects he could star in is Clint Eastwood’s biopic about late FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
Vulture exclusively reports that Eastwood wants Phoenix to play the pivotal supporting role of Clyde Tolson, the protégé and suspected gay lover of Hoover.
If cast, Phoenix would likely be paired with Leonardo DiCaprio, who’s attached to the titular role, although it’s noted that the Inception star isn’t officially signed on at this point. If and when DiCaprio commits, the offer will be sent out to Phoenix (cast a big-name lead before you cast anybody else).
Interestingly, it is being speculated that Phoenix being up for this role could be the reason Casey Affleck admitted that I’m Still Here was actually fake. It actually makes sense when you think about it: If Phoenix had continued on with that crazy act of his, then it might have ruined his chances of nabbing the role in the Eastwood biopic.
The Hoover script was written by Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk – a great choice to write Eastwood’s latest flick. The film is said to focus on the relationship between Hoover and Tolson with no mention thus far of it involving the creation of the FBI and the rest of the gangster/crime stuff you might expect – not to say it won’t be in there.
Tolson was the associate director of the FBI for 25 years between 1947 and 1972, and he and Hoover spent a lot of time together including dining out, generally socializing and even taking vacations together (Hoover apparently described Tolson as his alter-ego). It is generally suspected they had a homosexual relationship even though they both fervently denied it.
Those close to the pair always said that the relationship was fraternal, although when Hoover died he left everything to Tolson including his estate of over half a million dollars and his house – Tolson is also buried just a few yards away from Hoover in the Congressional Cemetery. When Hoover was alive, he was reportedly known for “hunting down and intimidating” those who questioned his sexual orientation.
It’s an interesting story that I’m sure Eastwood and Black will turn into an interesting film. Eastwood’s casting agent Fiona Ware (who also cast the director’s forthcoming Hereafter) will fly into Burbank from London in October to start casting. I suspect if Eastwood wants Phoenix then he’ll get him and if Phoenix is cast then it’ll sure be a great (possibly Oscar-bait) role for him to bounce back with.
Stay tuned to find out if Phoenix does indeed get cast in Hoover.