Directed by four-time Oscar winner Clint Eastwood and written by critically acclaimed Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk), J. Edgar is a biopic of J. Edgar Hoover, first director of the FBI in America. He was the man who brought a federal police force to the States, and ushered in the era of forensic evidence and fingerprints to try criminals, but who became an increasingly controversial figure as his career progressed, disregarding the law to use the resources of the FBI for his own ends.
His personal life has also been one of much speculation, with questions over his sexuality being considered but not concluded in this upcoming film. DiCaprio will take on the role of Hoover, using make-up to portray his decades-long career, and it’s a role I’m really looking forward to from him. DiCaprio is far from one to shy away from complex roles, as his credits show, and it will be interesting to see him play a man whose popularity soars and then increasingly spirals downwards in the American public eye.
Armie Hammer (The Social Network) will play the supporting role of Cloyde Tolson, Associate Director of the FBI, with whom people have suggested Hoover was romantically involved. And Naomi Watts will be playing Helen Gandy, Hoover’s secretary, who along with Tolson was one of the only two people Hoover trusted. Dame Judi Dench plays Anna Marie, Hoover’s mother, and Ed Westwick (TV’s Gossip Girl) plays Agent Smith, Hoover’s biographer.
Though no release date has yet been announced for the UK, here’s to hoping that it won’t be long after America gets it in November. More news as we get it. Until then, enjoy this first look at Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer in what is sure to be a truly brilliant film. (Click to enlarge on the first one.) I think the second shot is particularly awesome, showing DiCaprio deep in contemplation in what looks to be an empty courtroom, framed nicely by two American flags behind him. You can imagine the film is going to be one that will have us all thinking too.