J. Edgar Hoover is one of the most fascinating figures in American history. Son of immigrants, he was the first director of the FBI and ruled it as his own fiefdom for nearly four decades. Only death could remove him from the office he defined, keeping his position through six presidencies before being felled by a heart attack at age 77. Taking over a small federal agency with only 650 employees, he left it an empire of tens of thousands with a presence in dozens of countries. He spearheaded the adoption of modern law enforcement techniques and forensics even while becoming an increasingly polarizing character as the decades passed. Hoover was untouchable, building up secret files on political opponents, waging covert smear campaigns against anyone he saw as a threat to the America he wanted. He was a modern Caesar, great for exactly the same reasons he was terrible.
A biography of the man is one hell of an undertaking, if only because there are so many decades to cover to do any justice that you’re faced with the unenviable task of either cutting massive amounts of material, or at the very least trying to pull off either multiple actors in the role or using make-up and CGI to make the aging realistic. And that’s without even getting into the nuance of the story to be told.
Leonardo DiCaprio starring and Clint Eastwood directing? There are about three actors and three directors that could be trusted with this project. And here’s the trailer that proves it.
Damn, that looks good.