Bust out the garter belts and the clipped speech patterns, because Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly about to tackle the epic role of J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI, for director Clint Eastwood. It would be the first time ever the actor and director have worked together. Nikki Finke has the scoop:
Leonardo DiCaprio is in early talks to play FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in Hoover, an epic drama that Clint Eastwood will direct and that he and Brian Grazer will produce with Rob Lorenz through Imagine and Malpaso. Talks with Leo are just getting underway, but I'm told that DiCaprio will play the lead role in the film written by Dustin Lance Black, with production to begin later this year.
Dustin Lance Black won an Oscar for his work on Milk, so you’d think this Hoover biopic would address the endless innuendo surrounding his possible homosexuality and affinity for high heels. But Finke reports the script has, “no cross-dressing claims.”
That hasn’t always been the case with Hoover on screen. Thirty-three actors have tackled the role of Hoover throughout history, and most of them have been unflattering. The last one to play him was Billy Crudup in Public Enemies, in which Hoover was depicted as a political grandstander. The nastiest portrayal of Hoover I can remember were the two times Bob Hoskins played him for director Oliver Stone, in both “Nixon” and “JFK”. In “JFK”, Hoover is not only portrayed as a pervert and crossdresser, but he’s also shown participating in bizarre, gold-painted orgies with Tommy Lee Jones and Joe Pesci. I assure you it is the least erotic scene in film history.
Other actors who have tackled the role include Ned Beatty, Treat Williams (in a TV movie), Ernest Borgnine, Harris Yulin, Vincent Gardenia, and me (I played him in middle school. I did not wear pantyhose). But this would be the first really big movie to center on Hoover. And with DiCaprio and Eastwood involved, you can rest assured the big guy will be anything but one-dimensional.