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Warren Beatty to play Nixon?

WarrenBeatty.jpgCould Warren Beatty be playing the Richard Nixon in the Nixon/Frost film most likely co-starring alongside Michael Sheen as the great British interviewer David Frost? Well rumour has it that he's nearing a completed deal.

According to those pesky sources Ron Howard, the Director of the film, offered Beatty the role a few months ago, and that Beatty was even being considered to play Nixon in the film of the same name by Oliver Stone.

That's the story according to Hollywood Elsewhere through Bits of News. Jeffery Wells gives us some inside analysis that I whole heartedly agree with:

...this has to be one of the most bizarre casting calls I've ever heard of. Surreal almost. Beatty is not a chameleon-type actor. His Bugsy showed that he's pretty good as a swaggering sociopath, but I really don't see him getting under the skin of a conflicted and constipated hollow man...

...I guess the thinking is that if Hopkins can play Nixon without looking the least bit like him, Beatty can do it for Ron Howard. I suspect that the reaction around town is going to be fairly negative and that Howard may have second thoughts.

Well I don't know about the second thoughts part, but I do think this is a bizarre casting choice. However, think for a moment, the stage version had Frank Langella playing Nixon, another choice I wouldn't instantly think of, although not as poles apart as Beatty.

Could he possibly play the part well? It's obvious that Sheen is a great choice, and frankly with the stage show being so successful I have no idea why they didn't just take Langella along too. On Hollywood Elsewhere someone comments that Paul Giamatti would be a great choice...who would you choose?

Regardless this does promise to be a very strong story, and the ever insightful Alexander over at BoN says why:

"David Frost, who was desperate to prove himself, had put up his own money, and some he didn't have, to set up the first ever post-Watergate interview with Nixon. Both men, from lower middle class backgrounds, almost equally obsessed with their social position, saw the interview as a chance to rehabilitate their reputations. The victory of one would mean the defeat of the other."

What's amazing about the interview, if you have ever seen it, is how mundane most of it is. Until near the end that is and Frost manages to push Nixon towards an on screen confession and a heart rendering apology to the nation. Even though I'm not American and these events weren't of my time, seeing that moment does affect me and you can see the real man behind the Presidential one.

This is one of my most anticipated films for the future, and it should be on your list too.





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Comments

I am still kicking myself silly having missed this production at the Donmar, CRUMBS! I would of thought that if one of the reason for its success is due to the performances, why not bring them back on the film version?

Langella is fantastic! I amn ot really a Warren Beatty fan.

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