NEW YORK – Like a bill being rapidly pushed through legislation, Oliver Stone's film about President George W. Bush is expected to begin shooting within a month with a goal toward being released before the president leaves office next January.
A person close to the film, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because plans were still being formalized, said Stone's "W." will begin filming in late April in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Academy Award-winning director only began shopping his script for financing in January, but has quickly captured the interest of investors and Hollywood.
Stone has said that the film, which will focus on the life and presidency of Bush, won't be an anti-Bush polemic, but, as he told Daily Variety, "a fair, true portrait of the man. How did Bush go from being an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world?"
Representatives for Stone would not confirm reports in Variety and elsewhere about casting decisions because of unfinalized contracts. Expected to play the president is Josh Brolin, who played another Texan in the Coen brothers' Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men."
Expected to portray First Lady Laura Bush is Elizabeth Banks, whose credits include "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" and the upcoming "Zach and Miri Make a Porno."
"W." will be Stone's third film dealing with presidential matters, following "Nixon" and "JFK." The filmmaker has been an outspoken critic of the administration's decision to invade Iraq.
A Hollywood firebrand, Stone's films also include the Vietnam sagas "Born on the Fourth of July" and "Platoon," which won four Oscars including best picture and director, and 2006's "World Trade Center," about two policemen buried in the rubble of the towers after the Sept. 11 attacks.