The one noteworthy thing about J Edgar is that it's a sympathetic, entirely non-homophobic gay love story directed by Clint Eastwood. It might even have extra resonance if you recollect that gay kid in the park in Dirty Harry, fluttering his eyelashes at a clearly repulsed Detective Callahan and piping, "My name is Alice, and I've been known to take a dare!"
This one pleasing development aside, J Edgar marks another point on the downward trajectory of Eastwood's recent directorial career: The Changeling, Invictus, Hereafter – it's all painful, rickety stuff. This murky and uninvolving biopic half hero-worships and half hates the late FBI Director (systematised fingerprinting – yay! "There is no organised crime in the USA" – boo!), seeing him as a deeply closeted, mother-fixated control freak. Hoover's deepening, marriage-like
DiCaprio spent several hours with Cartha DeLoach at the 91-year-old's home in South Carolina while he was researching his role in J. Edgar, and the two men discussed the FBI director's sexuality at length.
DeLoach, who was part of the team which investigated President John F. Kennedy's death in the 1960s, tells USA Today, "I made it very clear that I never saw any evidence of it (homosexuality) whatsoever. I travelled with him (Hoover), I ate in his home and he in mine."
But the one-time deputy FBI director's concerns appear not to have swayed DiCaprio and director Clint Eastwood from portraying Hoover as a closeted gay man with deep feelings for another top aide, Clyde Tolson.
DeLoach insists Hoover and Tolson were nothing more than good friends: "I knew Clyde Tolson to be Mr. Hoover's companion and best friend. When you are somebody like Mr. Hoover, I guess you need somebody to talk to."
But not everyone associated with Hoover and the FBI are as accepting of the film's version of events when it comes to the homosexual undertones of the new film, although current bureau boss Mike Kortan insists both Eastwood and DiCaprio did their homework and spent hours chatting to agents past and present.
He says, "We provided information so that their story could be accurate. What they did with it, as with any production, has been entirely in their hands."
William Branon, chairman of The J. Edgar Hoover Foundation and officials at the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI have fired off letters to Eastwood expressing their concerns about the misrepresentation of an American hero, with Branon stating, "It would be a grave injustice and monumental distortion to proceed with such a depiction based on a completely unfounded and spurious assertion."
And William Baker, a former agent and Hoover Foundation vice president, tells USA Today "We don't want to support something not based in fact."
It actually sounds pretty interesting, and maybe DiCaprio could be just a perfect actor for this kind of role…
So, he could play the first FBI director, huh? And what kind of man was Hoover?
Well, one thing’s for sure – he definitely was (and obviously still is) a controversial figure, so no wonder he has been portrayed many times in the media.
The FBI boss has been played by several actors in the past, from Ernest Borgnine and Bob Hoskins through to Billy Crudup, who took a supporting slot as a young Hoover in last year’s Public Enemies.
He was known for harassing political activists and wire-tapping public figures, but also credited with building the
He was one of the most notorious figures of postwar America, a behind-the-scenes puppet master revered by some and feared by many. Now the late FBI boss J Edgar Hoover looks set to be brought to the big screen – in the form of Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Shutter Island star is reportedly in negotiations to star in a Hoover biopic directed by Clint Eastwood. The film would chart Hoover's rise to power, spotlighting his founding of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which he ran right through to his death in 1972. During his 50s and 60s heyday, Hoover was a pivotal and polarising presence within the Us political landscape. Unremitting in his pursuit of "subversives", he was known for harassing
By Christopher Campbell
Photo: Jim Spellman/ WireImage
Leonardo DiCaprio may portray former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in a biopic directed by Clint Eastwood, according to Deadline.com.
The actor is reportedly in talks for the lead in the period drama, which was penned by Oscar-winning "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and is being overseen by Eastwood's "Changeling" producer Brian Grazer. Titled "Hoover," it would be the first collaboration between DiCaprio and Eastwood, whose current favored actor seemed to be Matt Damon. Eastwood worked with Damon on last year's "Invictus" and the upcoming "Hereafter" but may have chosen Damon's "Departed" co-star as his next leading man.
DiCaprio previously embodied the similarly larger-than-life historical figure Howard Hughes in Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator." He also portrayed author Jim Carroll in "The Basketball Diaries,
Hoover, a controversial figure who ran the bureau for nearly forty years, won't be as easy to cast as Mandela. There's not a single person perfectly fit for the part, like Morgan Freeman was for the South African leader. But if Eastwood does direct this biopic, I could maybe see Matt Damon, who co-starred in "Invictus" and leads Eastwood's next film, "Hereafter," in the role.
Of course, that might be a little weird after
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