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W, Or The Memory Of Childhood*

W, the highly-anticipated Oliver Stone biopic on America’s 43rd president, has been making a slow march toward its April 21st production start date. Josh Brolin (a dead ringer who can act!) has been slated to play Dubya for months, but in recent weeks, producers have continued to flesh out the cast list. Ellen Burstyn and James Cromwell, of Requiem for a Dream and Babe, respectively, are slated to play Barbara and George H.W. Bush. Thandie Newton of Crash and Elizabeth Banks of…uh…will play Condi Rice and Laura Bush. (First thoughts: too hot!) Welshman Iaon Gruffudd is in talks to play Tony Blair, and Jeffrey Wright is being floated as Colin Powell.

ABC News and Politico, both apparently in possession of a draft copy of the screenplay, offered separate rundowns last week of the father-son dynamic that has filled pop psychology regarding Bush 43. Key scenes include the drumbeat to war in 2002, the “Mission Accomplished” landing in 2003, as well as the softer side: college-age W guzzling garbage-pail vodka; leader-of-the-free-world-age W choking on a pretzel. The tendentious Stone summed up his film in one sweep: "How did Bush go from being an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world?" 

Of course, the Hollywood treatment could detract from the film’s political credibility. (Judge/read the first page of the script yourself here [pdf].) But in the end, its success rests squarely with the talent. So, Talkbackers: Who are your picks for the rest of the Bush gang (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rove, Powell, Chalabi, Miers--Perino)? I nominate this guy for VP.

--Dayo Olopade

* Also a great read.