Things are heating up for the Warner Bros. comedy El Presidente. Tom Cruise has been flirting with the project for some time, and he’s now courting an acting veteran to play a bumbling sleaze of a former U.S. President. Cruise is wooing Jack Nicholson to sign on as his co-star in the film, going so far as to tell the actor he won’t do the project without him. The story of El Presidente revolves around an overly committed Secret Service agent (Cruise) who is assigned to the worst former president. When a threat is made on the ex-president’s life, the two are forced to go on the run together. It sounds like an action comedy in the vein of Midnight Run and definitely feels like it could be a fantastic vehicle for Nicholson.
Hit the jump for more, including which blockbuster director has agreed to take the helm.
News of Cruise courting Nicholson for El Presidente first broke over three years ago, and the comedy has gone through a number of iterations since that time. It appears that Cruise is still gung-ho on Nicholson’s casting, which explains why he has now sought the actor out for the part. In addition to Nicholson’s potential casting, THR‘s report adds that Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) has signed on to direct. He and Cruise just finished working together on the upcoming sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow and apparently struck up a nice rapport. Liman accompanied Cruise on the visit to Nicholson’s home, and the actor apparently at least agreed to read the script, which was recently rewritten by Paul Attanasio.
Cruise and Nicholson of course worked together previously on A Few Good Men, but Nicholson has been extremely picky regarding projects as of late. David Dobkin sought him out for the dramedy The Judge opposite Robert Downey Jr., but he passed (Robert Duvall eventually took the role). Since Cruise said he wouldn’t do El Presidente unless Nicholson agreed to star, it would appear that the future of the project is in the acting veteran’s hands.