As anyone who saw World Trade Center can attest, Oliver Stone, a director whose name was once synonymous with political rabble-rousing, has turned into a big, people-pleasing pussy in his later years. Those who hoped that film would be a JFK-like examination of the myriad conspiracy theories (as well as the more concrete executive fuck-ups) behind 9/11 were probably disappointed by the weepy movie-of-the-week Stone delivered instead, and it's safe to say they'll be equally up in arms about his next directorial effort, Bush, which will apparently tackle one of the most controversial leaders in history with all the excoriating, muckracking spirit of a profile in Parade magazine. Despite his frequent outspoken criticisms of the Iraq War and the Bush administration in general, Stone insists that this biopic of his former Yale classmate won't be an "anti-Bush polemic," but rather a sympathetic look at "what it's like to be in his skin," examining his rise to power with a behind-the-scenes approach similar to The Queen or Stone's own Nixon—though "not as dark in tone." "I want a fair, true portrait of the man," Stone says. "How did Bush go from an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world? It's like Frank Capra territory on one hand, but I'll also cover the demons in his private life, his bouts with his dad and his conversion to Christianity, which explains a lot of where he is coming from." Stone added:
"People have turned my political ideas into a cliche, but that is superficial. I'm a dramatist who is interested in people, and I have empathy for Bush as a human being, much the same as I did for Castro, Nixon, Jim Morrison, Jim Garrison and Alexander the Great."
To aid Stone in his empathetic mash note, the director has recruited Josh Brolin, whom he says "has the same drive and charisma that Americans identify with Bush, who has some of that old-time movie-star swagger." Jesus Effing Christ….