Milk writer on J. Edgar Hoover
Ron Howard's production company and the writer of Milk (Filmstalker review) are set to create a biographical film of J. Edgar Hoover, the man who created the FBI in 1935 and was director of the organisation until his death in 1972.
Dustin Lance Black is the man who recently wrote the excellent Milk , and that in itself would be enough to make you believe that the film would be a strong one, but then add in the powerful directing talents of Ron Howard and you have something special…that is if he directs it.
J. Edgar Hoover is not so much known for the great work that he did with the FBI and creating a centralised fingerprint database , but more for the tactics he employed in doing so and the often underhand way he went about persuading those who were against him - secret files, political (and non-political) persuasion - but in the film world he's really known in for a couple of roles, most recently in Public Enemies (Filmstalker review) played by Billy Crudup.
There was news of a J. Edgar Hoover related film back in 2007 from a Black List script about the 1933 Union Station massacre and how the FBI were trying to solve the case, but that's never progressed any further.
Union Station is based on the graphic novel by Ande Parks where a federal agent is trying to solve the 1933 Union Station massacre while fighting the criminal underworld and a young J. Edgar Hoover who is trying to use the case for his own political gains.
It's clear though that the two films are very much different, consider Dustin Lance Black doing the job he did for the life of Harvey Milk on J. Edgar Hoover, and we're in for a personal and very revealing film of the man's life, both personally and professionally.
I think what we want to see is not a film that just focuses on some of his nefarious methods, nor solely on the successes, but combines the both and shows us what the real man behind the huge task he gave himself and his organisation and presents some of the moral decisions he made through his own, very human eyes.
Now that I've written that I'm thinking that Ron Howard would be a good director to take on the task, although the story from Pajiba through /Film tells us that a director hasn't been attached just yet. My money's on Howard.