Dustin Lance Black on Hoover: 'There Are More Contradictions' -- and DiCaprio's In
Reports yesterday that Clint Eastwood approached Joaquin Phoenix to play the G-man object of affection in Hoover stimulated a new flurry of rumors about the project, from whether Leonardo DiCaprio is actually set to play the father of the FBI to whether Eastwood or Phoenix can attract enough studio confidence after their respective fall fizzles of Hereafter and I'm Still Here. The jury remains out on Phoenix, but as Dustin Lance Black told Movieline last week, don't worry about the power duo at the top.
"Leo and Clint," said Black, asked to confirm the star and director of his high-end J. Edgar Hoover biopic as our conversation closed last week in Toronto. He'd told me earlier that the script was done, and shooting was set for early next year; more at length, he explained what set the project apart from Milk, the film for which he earned a Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 2009.
"Hoover is not as linear and traditional as Milk -- but it didn't need to be," Black said. "It was important that Milk be that. People know Hoover -- or think they know Hoover -- and that's great as a writer because you're free as a writer to explore other stuff. People didn't know Milk, so I think it needed a more traditional structure."
Other stuff like what? "Well, I'll give you some insight," he replied. "Hoover is told from Hoover's point of view, which I've never seen before. I've read all the books; I'm a history buff. It's always told from a rather detached point of view, and I think that's because Hoover never let anyone in. And because of that -- and the contradiction between what he believed his history was and what his history actually was -- it lends itself to a less-traditional structure. There are more contradictions."
Mysterious! Check back here for more development updates as events warrant...