In a surprising turn of events, the eagerly anticipated film adaptation of Brooklyn playwright Beau Willimon’s riveting political drama “Farragut North,” the winner of the 2005 Dayton Playhouse FutureFest, has a new name: “The Ides of March.”
Despite the darker yet catchier revamping, Willimon’s engrossing material, which brilliantly contains shades of David Mamet, still chronicles the downfall of an arrogant press secretary of a governor-turned-Democratic presidential candidate during the frenzied Iowa Caucus. According to Deadline.com, Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling (“Half Nelson”) will star as brazen hotshot Stephen Bellamy, a juicy role previously linked to such Hollywood heavyweights as Leonardo DiCaprio and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Joining Gosling, who appeared in “The Notebook,” “Lars and the Real Girl” and is currently garnering Oscar buzz for his performance in the indie hit “Blue Valentine,” will be Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei (“My Cousin Vinny”) as a New York Times reporter, Emmy Award winner Paul Giamatti (“John Adams”) as a rival campaign manager, and indie darling Evan Rachel Wood (“Across the Universe,” “Once and Again,” “Thirteen,” “The Wrestler,” “True Blood”) as a campaign intern.
In addition to directing “The Ides of March,” Academy Award winner George Clooney (“Syriana”) will appear as the aforementioned candidate and co-write the script along with Willimon and Grant Heslov. Clooney and Heslov’s script for “Good Night, and Good Luck” received a 2005 Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
“The Ides of March,” which has the potential to be a major contender at the 2012 Golden Globe Awards and Academy Awards, is inspired by Willimon’s service as a staff member within Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. Production is reportedly scheduled to begin in February in Michigan and Ohio.
“There will indeed be some shooting of ‘Ides of March’ in Ohio,” said Willimon, 33. “I have no idea what the shooting schedule is, or where, but it would certainly be cool if Clooney shot some scenes in Dayton!”
Willimon’s credits include the Hurricane Katrina-themed drama “Lower Ninth” and the gripping character study “Spirit Control,” an incredibly authentic account of an air traffic controller haunted by a tragedy.