At the start of the month we told you that George Clooney's long-cherished plan to bring Beau Willimon's political play Farragut North to the screen was finally coming together. It's now officially underway, with the financing in place and the name changed. Clooney will direct and star in The Ides of March, along with Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood and Paul Giamatti.
The play is loosely based on Willimon's experiences on the campaign trail with Howard Dean, who ran for US Democratic presidential candidacy in 2004, and was a frontrunner for a while before crashing out and placing third. A tale of political hubris then (hence the new Shakespearean title: the Ides of March was the date that Caesar was assassinated, classics newbies), it'll see Clooney taking the role of a state governor with his eye on the Whitehouse, and Gosling as his beleaguered press agent.
Tomei is a New York Times reporter; Giamatti is the manager of a rival campaign; and Wood will play an intern in the Clooney camp.
Willimon co-wrote the screenplay with Grant Heslov (who directed The Men Who Stare at Goats, and wrote and co-produced Clooney's previous directorial outing Good Night and Good Luck), and production starts in February, with filming taking place in Michigan and Ohio.