W. (2008) Poster

(I) (2008)


Oliver Stone and George W. Bush were both in Yale's class of 1968, though Stone dropped out after one year and went to Vietnam instead of graduating, while Bush graduated with his class.
Christian Bale was initially cast as George W. Bush, and even underwent weeks of prosthetics tests before filming began. However, he withdrew from the production at the last minute, prompting Oliver Stone to immediately look for a replacement. Josh Brolin was subsequently given the role following his notable performances in No Country for Old Men (2007) and American Gangster (2007).
Richard Dreyfuss stated his disappointment with the film in an appearance on The View (1997). He said it was "6/8 of a good film" and called Oliver Stone "a fascist". Stone retorted in an interview that working with Dreyfuss "was the single worst experience I've ever had with an actor in my life".
This movie was filmed sequentially. Josh Brolin lost a considerable amount of weight to play W. in his youth and had to quickly gain it back to play him middle-aged.
Josh Brolin prepared for his role as George W. Bush by telephoning hotels and talking to the people simply to hear the accent. He also watched videos of Bush to try and get the style of his walk right.
According to James Cromwell (who plays George Bush Sr.), Oliver Stone originally offered the role to Warren Beatty and Harrison Ford. Interestingly, all three actors are known for their support of liberal political causes.
When asked in an interview with Playboy Magazine prior to the 2004 Presidential Elections whether he would consider making a movie about George W. Bush, Oliver Stone responded "It's too soon. You need some historical perspective. We had to wait 20 years to do Nixon. As a dramatist, you have to wait. Right now Bush is in full play. It's not time for a biography."
When W. tells his father about the Yale football game over the phone, he mentions "Hill" and "Dowling." These are Yale football running back Calvin Hill and quarterback Brian Dowling, who were the stars of the undefeated 1968 Yale team. Hill, a fraternity brother of Bush's, went on to a career in professional football and now consults with several NFL teams; he married Janet Hill, who had been Hillary Rodham Clinton's college roommate. Their son, Grant Hill, is an NBA player. Dowling also had a stint in the NFL, albeit a briefer one than Hill's. Dowling is now best known as the inspiration for the "Doonesbury" comic strip character B.D., which cartoonist Garry Trudeau started while he, Dowling, and Bush were all Yale students.
A cut scene featured Michael Shannon as Arthur Blessitt, who first converted Bush to Born-Again Christianity.
Filmed in only 46 days.
Filming during the middle of Summer in Louisiana meant that elaborate prosthetic makeup could not be used, due to fears the humidity would melt the actors' faces.
During the scene in which Bush is seen flying a naval jet on board the Aircraft Carrier, the show that broadcasts his incident is a political commentary program titled "Spin-Ball" which received both a Conservative and Liberal prospective. The show is actually a 'spoof' of the two highly rated and well known political commentary programs, The O'Reilly Factor (1996) on Fox News (hosted by Bill O'Reilly, known for his 'No Spin Zone" which broadcasts a more conservative viewpoint); and MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews (1997), which demonstrates a more liberal viewpoint. In particular, it is a spoof of Chris Matthews' and Ann Coulter's coverage of the aircraft landing, in which the two commentators focused on Bush's appearance.
Admiral Deb Loewer, who was on President Bush's detail the morning of 9/11, was the film's technical advisor.
Most of the film was shot in practical locations in Shreveport, Louisiana. George and Laura Bush's bedroom and George Tenet's bedroom are different rooms in the same mansion.
Appropriately for a film about a President who followed his father into politics, this film features many actors who followed their parents into show business and some of whom have Presidential connections. Josh Brolin is the son of James Brolin, who played Ronald Reagan in 'The Reagans (2003)(TV)'. Reagan was, of course, an actor who went into politics. James Cromwell is the son of John Cromwell, who directed Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940). Colin Hanks is the son of Tom Hanks, who is related to the family of Abraham Lincoln's mother (Nancy Hanks). The elder Hanks was also Oliver Stone's first choice for the role of Nixon (1995). Toby Jones is the son of Freddie Jones. Jason Ritter is the son of John Ritter
As a former Marine, Scott Glenn is the only actor playing a member of the Bush administration who has actual military experience.
Robert Duvall is rumored to have been considered for the role of Dick Cheney.
Brad Sham, long time radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys makes a brief appearance as a White House reporter near the end of the movie. He's asks the question about 9/11 in which "W" struggles to answer.
When reciting the names of the fraternity brothers during his hazing at Yale, the second and third surnames of people he names are "Hill" and "Hotchkiss." Both Oliver Stone and James Cromwell attended the Pennsylvania-based boarding school for boys The Hill School, and one of the Hill's rival preparatory schools is indeed Hotchkiss.
Josh Brolin, who plays George W. Bush, is the son of James Brolin, who played Ronald Reagan in The Reagans (2003).
Oliver Stone's son Sean Stone makes an appearance as one of the college boys.
Was rushed into production in early 2008 after Oliver Stone's intended project Pinkville (2013) was abruptly canceled in late 2007 only two weeks before filming was to begin.
The White House speechwriter named "Mike" played by Colin Hanks is based on two real speechwriters for George W. Bush, David Frum who wrote the "Axis of Evil" speech, and Michael Gerson who was Bush's chief speechwriter from 2001 to 2006.
According to screenwriter Stanley Weiser, Oliver Stone wrote Cheney's speech on empire in the film.
Josh Brolin hosted Saturday Night Live (1975) the weekend the film opened, with Oliver Stone also making an appearance to promote the film. By ironic coincidence Saturday Night Live: Josh Brolin/Adele (2008) was the debut on the show of then Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, 17 days before the 2008 election.
Ellen Burstyn and Jeffrey Wright share the same birthday. The two are never in the same scene together.
Ellen Burstyn appeared in The Exorcist (1973) with Lee J. Cobb, father of James Cromwell's wife, Julie Cobb.

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