W. (I) (2008)
Frequently Asked Questions
Originally titled Bush, W. is Oliver Stone's biopic about the life and presidency of the 43rd US president George W. Bush, which he went by in order to distinguish himself from his father, 41st US president George Bush (known during and after his son's presidential tenure by his name with his middle initials included, i.e. as "George H.W. Bush"). The "W" stands for his middle name "Walker", and his full name lacks the forepart of his father's middle name (the "H" standing for "Herbert"), thereby making it technically inappropriate for the son to be known as "George Bush, Jr." or "George Bush II".
W. is based on a script originally researched and written by director Oliver Stone and screenwriter Stanley Weiser prior to the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike.
President Bush (Josh Brolin)'s wife Laura (Elizabeth Banks), brother Jeb (Jason Ritter), father and former President George Herbert Walker Bush (James Cromwell), and mother Barbara (Ellen Burstyn) are also featured. Daughters Jenna and Barbara are not in the cast list. Prominent members of President Bush's administrative cabinet include vice-president Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss), Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (Thandie Newton), former Secretary of State General Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright), and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (Scott Glenn). Featured international leaders include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Ioan Gruffudd) and former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein (Sayed Badreya).
Yes, technically indeed, Allied forces recovered thousands aerial bombs and artillery shells filled with nerve gas of the same type used by Saddam in the Iran/Iraq war and to kill over 3,000 people in the Kurdish town of Halabaja in 1988. However, the manufacturing system that produced them had long since been abandoned as a result of UN sanctions, Iraqi exiles fleeing the regime telling Western intelligence agencies that they were still functioning in order to convince them to liberate Iraq from Saddam's dictatorship. In interviews before his trial, Saddam stated that he obstructed UN inspectors who could verify the truth so as not to lose face and expose Iraq's military weakness to Iran, thinking that any Allied campaign would be limited to airstrikes.