George Clooney Announces Cast for Next Directorial Effort

Like any Hollywood project, it takes time to get it off the ground. So when George Clooney announced that he was going to direct a big-screen adaptation of the off-Broadway play Farragut North, I knew it would be a while until production would actually commence.

Well, it looks like Clooney’s acting schedule isn’t booked for months on end – after The American he’ll be starring in Alexander Payne’s (Election, Sideways) latest film, The Descendants – so now he can finally make his third feature film.

Farragut North is a political drama about campaign dirty tricks written by former Democratic political operative Beau Willimon, who worked on Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. According to New York Magazine‘s Vulture blog, it looks like Clooney plans to start shooting this February with a cast that includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, and possibly Chris Pine.

The story is set in Des Moines, Iowa, just weeks before the state’s Democratic caucuses officially commence; it follows the exploits of a twentysomething presidential campaign spinmeister/wunderkind named Stephen Myers, and the dirty pool he plays to get his candidate the nomination against a rival senator.

At one time, Leonardo DiCaprio was attached to play the role of Myers, but it appears that Chris Pine will be his replacement. Though, considering that Pine played the part in a stage production last year in L.A. he should have no problem standing in for DiCaprio.

Clooney’s collaborator on the Ocean films, Brad Pitt, had shown interest in playing Paul Zara, Myers’s hard-bitten veteran boss on the trail. But with his name circulating a number of projects that would conflict with Clooney’s shooting schedule, Philip Seymour Hoffman has agreed to step in. Giamatti will play the campaign manager of the rival candidate.

Other offers still pending include Evan Rachel Wood (to play a teen staffer with whom Myers has a sexual dalliance) and Marisa Tomei (for the role of a probing journalist).

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Source: Vulture