DiCaprio and Eastwood Teaming Up on Hoover Pic

For all the “greatest actor alive” talk bestowed to Johnny Depp for his oddball performances, Depp might want to look over his shoulder and see Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio has had a meteoric rise since 2000, collaborating with Martin Scorsese four times in an eight-year period. Also working with Steven Spielberg (Catch Me If You Can), Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond), Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road) and Ridley Scott (Body of Lies), the actor has yet to work with a man many consider to be the second-greatest living director behind Scorsese, and that man is Clint Eastwood.

Mike Fleming with Deadline is reporting that DiCaprio and Eastwood are looking to collaborate on Hoover, a project that has been in development for over a year but was initially balked by Universal execs. because it was a “period” piece and they haven’t been very profitable for the studio these last few years.

But when producer Brian Grazer gave Dustin Lance Black’s (Milk) script to Eastwood – Grazer and Eastwood worked together on The Changeling for Universal (also a period piece) – stuff started to happen. The project may have originated at Universal, but it is mobilizing at Warners, where Eastwood’s Malpaso production shack has called the studio home for over thirty years.

The Pulse: The thought of Eastwood and DiCaprio collaborating has put this on my must-see radar. Though Eastwood’s films have been a mixed-bag over the years, they seem to do fairly well worldwide. But Universal’s period dramas that are either geared for adults or contain sports themes have been abysmal these past few years. Public Enemies cost $102 million to make but only had a domestic take of $116 million. Frost/Nixon‘s $29 million budget netted a return of $26.8 million worldwide. The Express, a sports film about the first African American to win the Heisman trophy was produced for $40 million but only got returns of $9.8 million.

I guess it’s a good thing Hoover will be distributed through Warners.

So could this finally be the film that gets DiCaprio an Oscar? He’s had three nominations already, and could have got two more for Titanic and Revolutionary Road. As Hoover, he’ll play one of the most formative figures in United States history. Billy Crudup had the perfect vocal inflections of Hoover in Public Enemies, but I can’t wait to see what DiCaprio can do with his performance.

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