George Clooney will direct and star an adaptation of Beau Willimon's Broadway play "Farragut North," but the story's getting a different name for movie theaters: "The Ides of March." The tale of behind-the-scenes politics in a presidential primary race was originally inspired by the playwright's impressions of the 2004 Howard Dean campaign, and Ryan Gosling will join the project, which focuses on a young press spokesman caught in the storm.
Clooney will start shooting in February in Michigan and Ohio, according to a report in Variety. The cast is formidable, featuring names like Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. The big names don't stop there, either, as Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way company will produce in cooperation with Clooney and Grant Heslov's Smoke House Pictures.
Giamatti will handle the part of a rival campaign manager, while Tomei takes on the role of a New York Times reporter and Wood appears as an intern with whom Gosling's character crosses some professional lines for a liaison.
"The Ides of March" definitely has a more sinister Shakespearean ring to it that should resonate with general audiences to a greater degree than "Farragut North" would have, especially for anyone who hasn't heard of the play. Just looking at their formula, naming, casting and other choices up to this point, I don't think it's a stretch to wager that Clooney may be setting himself up to gun for that Best Achievement in Directing Oscar that he missed out on for on "Good Night, and Good Luck."
Do you think "The Ides of March" makes for a better title than "Farragut North"? What do you think of Clooney's cast? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!