90% stupid, 10% BREEEELLIANT!

“Sweep the leg . . . of FREEDOM.”

So Oliver Stone is ramping up W, the George W. Bush story. (The original title, Bush, was dropped after market surveys indicated 37% of respondents were expecting Stone’s long-promised, much-anticipated Gavin Rossdale biopic.)

Josh Brolin, star of The Goonies, Thrashin’, and No Country for Old Men, has signed on to star as W. I like Brolin’s work—just ponder the above trifecta!—and I can see why, after absorbing his performance in No Country, O-Sto thought Brolin would be able to master W. A stubborn man from Texas clinging to ill-gotten gains, embroiled in a conflict he should never have gotten into and unable to outwit forces far beyond his control? Perfect.

. . . Or so it seems. The role of W would have to be one of the fanciest peacock feathers in the cap of any actor; the man is as deep as a frozen lake! But, much as I’m sure Brolin will give it his all, I can’t help thinking about other actors who might bring more to the role.

So the question arises: if you could put any actor in the role of W, ignoring issues of appearance, race, or actually being alive . . . whom would YOU cast?

Herewith is my list of possible Ws:

10. Jimmy Stewart. He always could push that slack-jawed, “Gosh-dang” aw-shuckishness when the scene demanded it.

9. Bill Murray, in his post-Rushmore “Holy crap! I can extend my career 15 years by reacting to absolutely no stimuli!” period. Seems a bit too obvious. Though there’s the possibility he could get Scarlett Johansson to join the cast, always a plus.

8 and 7. At certain moments, I’m sure W himself has seen himself depicted by either Cary Grant or Charles Bronson. So nix them.

6. Denzel. Certainly has the commanding presence onscreen that any president should manifest . . . wait. That actually eliminates him. And besides, he’s just so damned likable. You can’t not root for Denzel. He could star in the The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and I’d be cheering him on.

5. Clooney. Would be great, if only to watch him act while choking on bile.

4. Jack Black. I can picture Jacko standing before a green screen soon to be filled in with the deck of an aircraft carrier, flashing the “Mission Accomplished” thumbs-up.

3. Bogart. Channeling a little of that Treasure of the Sierra Madre madness . . .

2. Cruise. Every Tom Cruise movie basically mirrors the W presidency, sans the triumphant comeback at the end, so he could probably pull it off. Just film said triumphant ending without telling him it’ll be cut from the theatrical release. And tell him HE can shout “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” this time, as many times as he wants.

. . . Shatner?

Just kidding. We’ve had enough tragedy in the last eight years.

1. No, my personal number one choice would be William Zabka. Daniel-san’s nemesis from Karate Kid. Come on—the blond kid! ‘Cuz I’ll bet Cheney makes W call him “sensei” and scream “No mercy! NO MERCY!” as tears course down his cheeks.

Well, that’s the end of me. You?


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