George Clooney casts impressive talent for FARRAGUT NORTH

Ok, so since our last update on George Clooney's next directorial effort, Farragut North, it seems lead Leonardo DiCaprio has had to pull out (earlier reports suggested he had left Mel Gibson's now dead Viking epic because of the Aussie actor's turbulent behavior, leaving him free for Clooney but apparantely not) and we are hearing from Vulture that the main cast is almost locked, and a February start date is set. The cast is now shaping up rather nicely; Offers are out to Chris Pine, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomeii and Evan Rachel Wood - in Clooney's directed adaptation of Beau Willimon€™s fictional political play (he also drafted the screenplay), loosely based on the 2004 Democratic primary run of Howard Dean. An offer is out to Pine to play Stephen Meyers, the wonderkid press secretary who falls victim to backroom politics and misguided one night stands during a tight presidential primary race - €œa classic tale of hubris set against a contemporary landscape €“ about the lust for power and the costs one will endure to achieve it€. If scheduling on the Jack Ryan reboot Moscow permits (due to begin filming before the end of the year), he will reprise a role he won great plaudits for in an L.A. Stage Production and although he's clearly been second choice for the film adaptation - let's face it, he was up against DiCaprio! I'm certain if his schedule is tight, he will be doing all he can to secure his place as the lead of this film and it'll be a great movie for him to show his acting chops before playing Kirk again in the late-Spring/Summer. Hoffman will play a hard-hitting veteran boss on the campaign circuit, a role originally offered to Brad Pitt - and as far as I can tell it'll be the first time Hoffman/Clooney have worked together - an exciting prospect for sure. Especially with Hoffman signing onto the kind of role he relishes. Giamatti, always to me seen as the guy you get when you can't get Hoffman (that's not a slight because he's a great actor) will play the manager of the opposition. Female additions, pending contractual agreements are Evan Rachel Wood (as a love interest for Pine) and Marisa Tomeii (as a journo). Clooney has also written an original supporting part that's not in the play, for himself. Which is a nice director's perk, of course. Clooney is now seeking financing around the Independent circuit but we're thinking he won't have much trouble with the talent on display here.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.