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Clint Eastwood Circling the J. Edgar Hoover Biopic

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | March 11, 2010 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | March 11, 2010 |


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A couple of weeks ago, we exclusively broke the news that Dustin Lance Black was set to pen a script based on the life of J. Edgar Hoover. Movie blogs picked it up, birds sang, and rainbows formed in the honor of the Hollywood Cog. Then, strangely, people began to go on with their lives.

It was very disconcerting.

And now that everyone knows that such a movie is being developed, and the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk is penning it, someone else goes and breaks the story that there's a director circling the project.

That someone was The Hollywood Reporter, and they say Clint Eastwood is circling the project. And hey! I'm not so excited about it anymore. Why? Well, what we didn't include in our original write-up of the movie -- because I was so intent on leaving out Black's sexuality, because I didn't want anyone to think of him as the gay screenwriter (gasp! Gays in Hollywood?), was that Black's sexuality makes him even more appropriate for the project, so long as you believe that gay screenwriters are more appropriate for movies about gay political figures (I happen to believe that sexual orientation should have no place in who gets what screenwriting gigs, but hey! If Dustin Lance Black wants to make "gay screenwriter who writes about gay political figures" his expertise, then I say go nuts. But use protection).

Anyway, what I was getting at was this: J. Edgar Hoover may have been one of the most important closet cases of the 20th century. Word is, the FBI director liked to dress in women's clothing, and that the Mafia might have even had some blackmail material on him which kept him from pursuing certain figures. And like a lot of gay political figures, J. Edgar Hoover (or J. Edna Hoover, as many referred to him), liked to dig up dirt on other possibly gay politicians, like Adlai Stevenson and Eleanor Roosevelt.

I honestly have no idea how much of those rumors were true, but I kind of fear that with Clint Eastwood involved, there won't be much exploration of that. It doesn't really seem his sort of movie. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Eastwood is courting a little provocative controversy late in his career.

Anyway, the movie is being produced by Ron Howard and Imagine Entertainment, and while it's not officially set up with a studio yet, it appears that Warner Brothers will likely pick it up. And given Eastwood's history, he could probably bang this movie out in about three weeks. So, you never know: It could be done in time for Oscar season.


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