Whitaker as Colin Powell?
Forest Whitaker is a superb actor and I don't think I've seen a film with him in where I haven't felt drawn to his character. He's been in good and bad films but his performances are always worth watching and his most memorable for me have been his role in The Shield, as Idi Amin in The Last King Of Scotland (Filmstalker review), the lead in Bird and in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.
Portraying real people isn't new to him either after all he's played, as I mentioned above, Charlie “Bird” Parker and Idi Amin, Cecil Gaines in The Butler, and lined up is a role as Martin Luther King Jr. Next for his real life portrayals looks to be another famous person involved in politics, Colin Powell.
Let me make it clear that I'm not making any connection between Colin Powell and any other political figure that Forest Whitaker has played, just before anyone starts leaping on the idea. Right, now let's get back to the story in hand.
The Playlist have latched onto a mention in a Variety article that Ed Whitworth has delivered a script for a film about General Colin Powell, Whitworth has written the script for Reykjavik which is about the key meeting in history between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986, however this film isn't really the life and times of Colin Powell, in fact it's perhaps a film Powell would not want to see made.
Instead of a film about Powell's rise through the ranks and his stepping into such powerful positions in the American government, the film will concentrate on one of the more controversial moments of his career and one that he is always associated with to the detriment of everything else he achieved. The film will look behind the scenes at the events that led the then Secretary of State for the United States of America to make the speech to the United Nations that famously highlights the weapons of mass destruction that Iraq was meant to be hoarding.
The article also mentions that Whitworth has a couple of other scripts on the go, a political drama about a leading figure of the Arab Spring, whoever that might be, and the other being a film about MI6 that is set to star Colin Firth.
The film entitled Powell does sound interesting but I wonder if the story around the speech is really going to be that exciting, if it does work out then I can see the film following a similar vein to that of the fantastic Frost/Nixon (Filmstalker review), but I wonder what else it will offer.
Powell, according to reports, is set to star Forest Whitaker who is also producing and Whitworth describes the main character by saying he…
”…ended up doing this thing that he now seemingly regrets and was clearly a huge mistake.”
It's interesting what that statement tells us, or rather what it doesn't, we don't know if the character of General Colin Powell will be complicit in the background of the speech or if he will be convinced to give it as he convinces the U.N. of the dangers the world faces.
While I do think that this film could be an interesting one I do think that there's a lot more to be had focussing on how Colin Powell rose to the position he did and commanded so much authority in American military and politics, I am sure there are some great and rousing stories to be had there but then there is so much ground to cover I wonder if concentrating on one story from his career is a better way to play it, but then should it be this one?