Accomplished actor/writer/director George Clooney plans to begin shooting his adaptation of the 2008 off-Broadway play, Farragut North this February. He may have found his leading man for the film in the form of Star Trek's Chris Pine.
Farragut North was written for the stage by Beau Willimon, who drew inspiration for the political drama from his experiences working on Howard Dean's presidential campaign back in 2004. Clooney has been working with Willimon to adapt the play to the big screen for nearly three years now.
Pine would star in the role of spinmeister/wunderkind Stephen Myers, a shrewd political campaigner who is working to get his candidate nominated during the Iowa Democratic caucuses. The young man's attempts are complicated by the efforts of an investigative journalist and a teenage intern - the latter of which Myers has an affair with. Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood are in talks to play the respective roles.
Leonardo DiCaprio was at one point attached to play the role of Myers, but that is no longer the case. Pine was widely praised for his portrayal of the character in an L.A. production of Farragut North last year (see below) and has seen his star meter in Hollywood rise significantly since - needless to say, he seems all but a perfect choice to play Myers in Clooney's adaptation as well.
Clooney already has two credible indie actors onboard to star in Farragut North as well: Philip Seymour Hoffman, who will play Myers' boss, and Paul Giamatti, in the role of a rival candidate's campaign manager. The politician Myers works for is never seen in the original play, but will have a short appearance in the film version and may be brought to life by Clooney himself.
Sony is currently holding negotiations with Clooney to distribute the pic, which will most likely be an independent production. The combination of a high-caliber cast and Clooney at the helm should be sufficient to attract the attention of financiers to fund the project.
We will keep you updated on the development of Farragut North as more news comes in.