Will Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood be able to succeed where Michael Mann and Billy Crudup did not? Deadline broke the news that the Shutter Island star is in preliminary talks to star as the title character in Hoover, a drama about the formation of the FBI directed by Eastwood and written by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk). Crudup played the same role in Mann’s Public Enemies.
Hoover was originally set up at the same place as Public Enemies, Universal, but after the disappointing domestic gross on that film, which obviously covers some of the same subject matter in the same period, they passed on the script. The film’s producer Brian Grazer then brought it to Eastwood, who is at Warner Brothers. That’s where the film is likely to end up.
Hit the jump for more on DiCaprio and the character of J. Edgar Hoover himself.
J. Edgar Hoover was the first director of the FBI, which he helped form in the 1930s as a way for the U.S. Government to have some authority to go after criminals who traveled across state lines such as John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd. Some of those exploits, including a little of Hoover’s role, can be found in the film Public Enemies among others. However, the ridiculously dense, brilliant and engrossing book on which that film was made has so many more details, I’m confident this new version will have great potential. For example, Hoover was a perfectionist who hated many of the agents portrayed in Mann’s film.
And DiCaprio would seem like a good fit to play Hoover as he’s certainly comfortable working with legendary directors, such as Martin Scorsese, and also playing men who have larger than life reputations, like Howard Hughes in The Aviator.
More on this film as it does, or does not, develop.