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Exclusive: Dustin Lance Black Scripting a J. Edgar Hoover Biopic

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | March 1, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | March 1, 2010 |

Universal Pictures and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment are developing a biopic based on the life of J. Edgar Hoover, we’ve learned exclusively from The Hollywood Cog. Oscar winning screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black, is working the script for Imagine.

The pic, Hoover, will cover the career of FBI Director who founded the organization in 1935 and remained director until his death in 1972. He made the FBI what it is today — an efficient crime-fighting organization — in part by harassing dissenters and building secret files on politicians. He is most often associated with his role in fighting the gangster wars in the ’30s and, later, the Mafia. Hoover was recently portrayed by Billy Crudup in the movie Public Enemies, which focused, in part, on Hoover’s efforts to bring down John Dillinger.

MIchael Mann’s Public Enemies was neither a huge critical or commercial hit (it tapped out at a $97 million, an underwhelming figure considering the star power — Christian Bale and Johnny Depp — involved). The movie, however, may have increased awareness and interest in Hoover, a controversial and divisive figure in American history.

Dustin Lance Black is a logical choice to pen the script, coming off an Oscar win for penning Gus Van Sant’s Milk, another biopic about a divisive political figure. Black is currently in post-production on What’s Wrong with Virginia, a drama he wrote and directed starring Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris. He also adapted Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test for Gus Van Sant, though that project seems to have stalled.

No director is yet attached.

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