Clint Eastwood certainly is a busy man these days. After making a name for himself as an actor (notably in the Dollars trilogy as The Man With No Name), he's recently become known for his directorial work with films like Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, and Letters From Iwo Jima.
Most recently, Eastwood made the Oscar-nominated Invictus and has just finished filming a supernatural drama entitled Hereafter with his Invictus star Matt Damon. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that after Hereafter, Eastwood is moving into the biopic genre by making a film about controversial FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover.
Eastwood is teaming up with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment on the untitled pic (he worked with them on Changeling). This Hoover biopic was initially set up at Universal - however the project isn't in the hands of any studio at the moment. THR suggests that Warner Bros. is most likely where it'll end up, since that's where Eastwood's Malpaso company is based. Robert Loren of Malpaso will serve as a producer on the biopic, along with Eastwood and Grazer. Interestingly, Oscar-winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black wrote the script for the biopic.
In case you're not up on your American history, Hoover was a key figure in the founding of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (or FBI for short) back in 1935 and largely helped turn it into an efficient crime fighting organization. He remained the director of the bureau for a whopping 37 years until he died in 1972.
The details of what went on under his directorship is probably what drew Eastwood to the project: Hoover often employed the FBI to harass political activists and used illegal methods to collect secret files on political leaders. On a more personal level, many biographies written about Hoover claim he was a closet homosexual and cross-dresser. He was last portrayed in the Michael Mann crime drama, Public Enemies, where he was played by Watchmen's Billy Crudup.
A neat bit of info that THR provides actually links the real-life Hoover to Warner Bros: He was hired as a consultant on the studio's 1959 pic, The FBI Story, and on the resulting spin-off TV series, The F.B.I. Irony, eh?...
I'm truly amazed that Eastwood is still very much in the thick of the filmmaking business. At the age of 79 (he'll be 80 this May), most people would be enjoying their retirement - but Eastwood clearly still has a lot to offer the film world and evidently isn't thinking about retiring anytime soon.
Hoover is certainly an interesting figure in American history and I can't think of anyone better to make a biopic about him than the masterful Mr. Eastwood.
What do you think of the idea of a J. Edgar Hoover biopic? Is Eastwood the best director to helm it?