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Stone Gears Up for ‘W’

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Posted on May 8, 2008

The man, the myth, the president: Josh Brolin in character as George W. Bush.

Entertainment Weekly has released first-look photos of actor Josh Brolin in character for his lead role in Oliver Stone’s new movie, “W.” Portraying the current president is no small challenge, but director Stone, who has been accused of courting controversy in his previous big-screen presidential portrayals, has promised to treat his subject fairly.

Entertainment Weekly:

Stone has publicly promised W will be a ‘‘fair, true portrait of the man,’’ but already there are those accusing him of the politics of personal destruction—and, worse, of trying to influence the election by painting the current Republican administration as reckless doofuses (although presumptive Republican nominee John McCain makes no appearance in the script). Naturally, Stone vehemently denies all charges. ‘‘Bush may turn out to be the worst president in history,’’ he declares as he peeks into room after room. ‘‘I think history is going to be very tough on him. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a great story. It’s almost Capra-esque, the story of a guy who had very limited talents in life, except for the ability to sell himself. The fact that he had to overcome the shadow of his father and the weight of his family name—you have to admire his tenacity. There’s almost an Andy Griffith quality to him, from A Face in the Crowd. If Fitzgerald were alive today, he might be writing about him. He’s sort of a reverse Gatsby.’‘

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By ocjim, May 24, 2008 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

A great assessment of the toll wrought by a mentally and morally challenged man who still thinks he has a huge entitlement, great achievements and moral superiority.

Self delusion was always his strength.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, May 23, 2008 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

If “W” is as paint-peal boring as Nixon, as bloated as NBK, as pandering as WTC, and as laughable as Alexander, then we’re in for a treat.

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By hippy pam, May 23, 2008 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

There is a comedian on t.v. who does A VERY GOOD IMPRESSION OF “BULLSH*T”-He has his own show…I’m
very sorry that his name does not come to mind…
if any one can think of “shrub” as “leading”....

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By Mark Jam, May 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was unaware that the public was clamoring for a sequel to “Forest Gump.”

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By will hale, May 21, 2008 at 1:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

evil i will not debate with someone who does no research whatsoever,look at the facts debate the facts stop doing a bill oreilly ignorance shouted is still ignorance!

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By LVogt, May 20, 2008 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stone has a reputation for playing loose with facts to make historic points, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. The minute you believe one thing of substance is untrue, trust is lost and you lose faith in the whole project.

I hope Stone gets a good fact-checker and gets it right because he is an excellent director and Bush is a terrible President.

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By Michael Collins, May 18, 2008 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How are you fair to a monster - 1.2 million dead Iraqi citizens due to the chaos that Bush knew would result from an invasion; 5.0 million Iraqi orphans; 60,000 troops who served with post traumatic stress syndrome; 4,000 plus killed in battle, 5,000 plus suicides a year for those who served in Iraq.  That’s not to mention ignoring global warming when the entire species is at risk.  It is a great story, if it’s told in the true context of the horrible toll the Bush administration has taken on this great country.  He lost the first election and stole the second.

The American people never supported him twice:  after the 911 attack (and we didn’t know about his negligence) and, for a brief period, when he lied about Iraq having nuclear capabilities.  He is a true monster, a leader not in the league of our worst presidents; rather, who belongs in the company of the worst leaders the world has seen in the last 100 years. 

Forget the movie, start impeachment hearings.

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By Thomas Billis, May 18, 2008 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

George Bush when asked if he would see the new Oliver Stone movie"W” said he had not seen the movies A through V yet but hoped to catch up when his presidency was over.

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By lethal77, May 17, 2008 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

Stone’s last movie about the towers was a complete flop,why? simple it was just one long lie,he has sold out completely,grown fat and comfortable in hollywood,JFK is such a great movie,I can say this with complete honesty Stone has sold out and while he will touch on bush as a complete moron,he wont go near the criminal acts he and his adminstration have done,especially 9/11 and his direct involvement in murdering his own citizens to push an agenda that is empirical in nature.

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By Angel Gabriel, May 13, 2008 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh Joy, another crack at the Frankenstein Tale! I would suggest an XXX rating though. Children face many scary reasons for nightmares without imposing the ultimate horror on their innoncent beings.
Maybe when the book comes out after the movie Gahan Wilson could be the Illustrator!

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By DennisD, May 13, 2008 at 7:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“His administration’s crimes and their repercussions have only been hinted at so far.”

So what, NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING will be done no matter what Stone finds and it certainly won’t be much if anything. Do you really think the people behind this administration, the ones that pull the strings, would allow themselves to be uncovered. You cannot be that naive.

Pelosi and her ilk have chosen not to impeach these thieves for their crimes. Just think of it as professional courtesy between scumbags if nothing else. Do you think that would change because of a movie.

The movie is a waste of time about a waste of President, period. I’ll give you a brief synopsis - Bu$h Inc. destroys a lot of countries for profit including OURS. He golden parachutes out to a ranch in TX and lives happily ever after. THE END.

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By Louise, May 12, 2008 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Thomas Billis:

“Better yet have Josh Brolin speak as the President does and have subtitles.”

Oh that’s just beautiful!!! smile

That chuckle made my day!

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By samosamo, May 12, 2008 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

I wish you would stop insulting chimpanzees by comparing them to w. I would rather have a chimp as president than the current occupant.

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By Thomas Billis, May 12, 2008 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

Mr Brolin will really have his acting ability tested.Can he capture Pres Bush’s two most famous looks.Dumb and really dumb.I hope Oliver Stone uncovers the real villains of the piece.The American people who elected a chimp President.If the script is in English it will have an air of fiction because it is the one language this moron has yet to master.Better yet have Josh Brolin speak as the President does and have subtitles.

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By Crimes of the State Blog, May 12, 2008 at 3:04 am Link to this comment

Hollywood usually avoids portraying a president as evil, and a traitorous criminal—even though they are.  Hollywood creates a fictional America with a fictional government that never really resembles what we know is true.

On the other hand, Stone’s JFK established that indeed a conspiracy existed to assassinate Kennedy and that only high level CIA types could get away with the cover up.

Still, I’m not hopeful that they will get 9/11 right, as I haven’t seen it done right by Hollywood to date.

9/11 was treason.  There was Saudi intelligence involvement: covered up by the Joint Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission.  There was Pakistani ISI involvement—the creators of the Al Qaeda training camps and protectors of Al Qaeda and other radical Jihadist organizations—WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE AND SUPPORT OF CIA.

And there appears to have been Israeli involvement although that was hushed up so fully and completely that you’d have to be a “conspiracy nut” to notice the 200 detained Israeli agents who were quietly sent back to Israel by the Justice (sic) Departmnet.  Although a team of Mossad were filming the first impact and celebrating with photos of themselves in front of the burning tower, holding up cigarette lighters, you’d have to be crazy to bother talking about the FBI Be On Look Out alert issued on the afternoon of 9/11 which led to their arrest.

As for Bush, we got him for treason the moment he was told “America is under attack” yet chose to do nothing.  he then “dawdled” for half an hour, not acting to defend the US as his duties of Commander in Chief oblige him to do.

Oh yeah, no “shoot down” authorization passed his lips until well after the Pentagon was struck.

Bill Sammon of Washington Times reported that press secretary Ari Fleischer held up a sign written on the back of a legal pad during the My Pet Goat period, which said: “DON’T SAY ANYTHING YET.”

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By samosamo, May 11, 2008 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

Alas, I guess this will be the information that the public needs and that the msm refuses to give and thus according to the attention span and the willingness to have a story shown and told through a movie then maybe it will open some people’s eyes that ordinarily would not be open but to what degree will those eyes be opened is part of the quality of it all. It will be entertain value which I don’t believe is the kind of information the people need, but back around the old circle, msm ain’t giving anybody anything.
The new msm motto, creed or what have you: ‘keep em dumb’.
Check it out:

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By NYCguy, May 9, 2008 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wait… so you’re telling me that you believe in a JFK conspiracy?  Give me a break; you are proving my point that films that distort history give dumb people a f-uped history lesson.  Not to get side-tracked but it is scientifically proven that Oswald was the lone gunman and that there was no conspiracy.  As for the Warren Commission, I cannot speak to that but all I was trying to say that in general, Stone’s movies are not serving any good because us dumb Americans believe that everything in movies like his are true-to-life.  BTW I like “JFK” but when I saw is as a little kid, it had me convinced that there was a conspiracy until I found out on my own that it was all a load of crap.

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By Louise, May 9, 2008 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps everyone misses a point here.

I think Stone says it best ...

“Bush may turn out to be the worst president in history. I think history is going to be very tough on him. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a great story.”

As one of many who has a library full of “Bush-shit” I have to agree. His is a great story. So is Manson, as is Mark Hofmann and Nixon, Karl Rove and a whole slew of other bad and not to bright folks.

Where history places Bush ... in the good, the bad or the really dumb ... remains to be seen.  But his story will be great. Not in the sense that he is great, or has done great things, but in the sense that why and when and what for, will be so fascinating.

I seriously doubt a movie will do the story justice. Maybe it will come out in book form.

But I see one real problem with the movie already. Stones choice of Josh Brolin for the role of Bush will not be believable. He looks far to seriously intelligent. Not at all like Bush when he tries to look seriously intelligent. That look always prompts me to think of Alfred E. Neuman. And brings on the giggles.

I seriously doubt that’s what Stone is going for. wink

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By dasm, May 9, 2008 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Treated fairly = honestly.  Therefore Bush will come off as the stupid, brow-beaten, incompetent war-monger & anti-American Constition jerk that he is.  No problem there.

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By HC, May 9, 2008 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Treated fairly? Fair treatment would require his properly being described as a war criminal, responsible for the deaths and maimings of hundreds of thousands, for starters. Toss in undermining of Constitional protections which he was sworn to uphold and other impeachable offenses, and the only fair question left to be asked about his administration is whether this country can ever recover from it.

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By robertr, May 9, 2008 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

There are many fine films made about reprehensible people. No subject should be off-limits for any artist. It is typical of Stone to brazenly approach a subject like this while the wounds are still open. It could be a disaster, but it could be quite interesting. Of course Bush is a monster, but why shouldn’t Stone or anyone else try to understand him a little?

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By ocjim, May 9, 2008 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

There are so many people who have made positive contributions to humankind, and Stone picks a spoiled rich frat boy with the the smarts and the attention span of a box of hair, who has failed in everything, including any kind of leadership.

What a waste of time and effort.

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By robertr, May 9, 2008 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

I can’t comment on “Alexander”, as I haven’t seen it, but you are wrong about “JFK.” You need to go a little deeper. The movie isn’t simply saying “this is what happened.” It forces us to think about what we see or what we think we see. I agree that Americans (and others) should not turn to movies to learn the facts of history, but films can inspire us to delve deeper. Sometimes a film or a novel can get closer to the emotional truth of a subject than what we normally classify as “history.”

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By DennisD, May 9, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stone Gears Up for ‘W’ -

Do us all a favor and gear down. We have no need for any Bu$h reminders once he’s gone. Thank you.

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By william blake, May 9, 2008 at 5:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

JFK is a complete farce ?  Maybe YOU need to do a little more reading. If anything was a complete farce-it was the Warren Commission snowjob.

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By Jaded Prole, May 9, 2008 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

I find it disgusting that anyone would make a movie further immortalizing a creep like Bush. He is an incompetent front man for a fascist cabal. Stone shouldn’t be wasting his time on this. How about a moved about Abu Ggraib from the high offices to the lowest victim?

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By NYCguy, May 8, 2008 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sure Stone thinks that he will be doing a great service to history with his film.  But let there are two things wrong with making historical films (especially by Stone): 1.  we dumb americans should read a book to learn about these types of events; 2. Stone distorts history in his films and they are seen as fact by us dumb americans.  For example: “JFK” is a complete farce.  Also, “Alexander” was historically way off. 

I hate Bush but I’m sure Stone cannot protray him accurately (because of right wing pressure).

Americans should learn history through books, not films.

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By Gary Aguilar, May 8, 2008 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lets hope Stone hasn’t lost his courage to sail against the wind, the way he did in his film, “JFK.”

Over at, I wrote the following about Stone’s take on JFK and Vietnam, and the ruckus it caused. Guess what, he’s been vindicated and his detractors proven wrong.

Gary Aguilar

JFK, Vietnam, and Oliver Stone, Vietnam, and Oliver Stone/JFK, Vietnam, and Oliver Stone.htm

Gary Aguilar
November, 2005

Oliver Stone would scarcely have elicited more righteous indignation by lecturing Baptist ministers on the evils of Christianity than he did among journalists and historians by releasing his popular film JFK. Pundits by the pack bristled at Stone’s contempt for the Warren Commission. One of the outrages that provoked particular vehemence was Stone’s revisionist representation of Kennedy as a president who threatened The Establishment because he would not have taken the country to war over Vietnam. But the outcry wasn’t just about his bad history. It had at least as much to do with the director’s chutzpah in trespassing onto turf owned by career journalists and historians.

In the Washington Post, George Will called JFK a “three hour lie from an intellectual sociopath.”[1] Noam Chomsky dedicated an entire book – “Rethinking Camelot” – to debunking Stone’s notion that under Kennedy the history of Southeast Asia would have been altogether kinder and gentler.[2] Leslie Gelb sneered from the pages of the New York Times that the “torments” of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson over Vietnam “are not to be trifled with by Oliver Stone or anyone.”[3] A banner headline on the cover of Newsweek barked: “Why Oliver Stone’s New Movie Can’t Be Trusted.”[4]

Stone’s crackpot history had apparently imperiled the public not only by throwing mud at perhaps America’s most respected murder investigation, but also by rewriting American history to push his leftist, anti-American agenda. The message was that there was danger when moviemakers forgot their place. Theirs was the business of entertaining, not interpreting history. That business was best left in the capable hands of credentialed authorities.

Across the political spectrum those authorities derided Stone’s war-wary peacenik on grounds his “JFK” bore no resemblance whatsoever to the historical JFK. Behind a pacific façade, received wisdom had it, Kennedy was really a clanking Cold Warrior spoiling for a fight – in Southeast Asia, in Cuba and perhaps elsewhere. In the context of his treatment of Diem, Stone’s critics placed JFK’s occasionally fierce, if conflicted, rhetoric.

“By November, sanctioning a coup against an ally in the name of winning the war had been added,” wrote Robert Bartley in The Wall St. Journal. “Then withdraw? Joe Kennedy’s competitive kid? The ‘bear any burden’ guy? Give me a break. Acolytes love this myth dearly … .” [5] Another historian, William Gibbons, said that it “is absurd” to imagine that Kennedy would have pulled out.[6] In The Nation Magazine, Alexander Cockburn wrote, “The public record shows JFK was always hawkish.”[7] And in no less than the respected Reviews in American History, Max Holland, a Nation Magazine contributing editor, declared that it was a “fantasy that Kennedy was on the verge of pulling out from Vietnam.”[8]

The years that followed have not been kind to those who had stoned the director. “Received wisdom” has been swamped by a tsunami of new and credible scholarship brought about by the declassifications of literally millions of pages of government secrets. The impetus for their release came directly from Stone, who publicly nagged about the absurdity of the government saying the case was “open and shut” while suppressing mountains of the evidence.

No doubt to the dismay of Stone’s detractors, a strikingly different and more favorable – even more Oliver Stone-like - view of Kennedy has recently emerged ... .

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By endbushwar, May 8, 2008 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

Don’t get me wrong, I love SOME of his work!!  E.G. JFK!!  But his 911 was a cop-out &  worse….....  Whether 911 was an inside job, or not,  it provided the fig leaf for a war of conquest and plunder…......All the pious talk of making the world a better place (without sadam) and how we are safer is only soap suds…...And please don’t me going on the anthrax…...All those that died,  either bush had a grudge against them,  they were obstructing the patriot act, or they were mailmen…..... See:    .......  What I’m trying to say here, is that the very premditated nature of the bush putsch needed to be at least pointed out in a film treatment of 911!!  Will Oliver deliver this time as he has done in the past, or will we get one more senimental diversion from the awful truth as we did in 911….....

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By peedeecee, May 8, 2008 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

Beautiful! Talk about damning with faint praise.

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By msgmi, May 8, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No disrespect to Josh Brolin, but Christopher Walkin would have been an ideal GW character actor. It takes a lot of talent to play a puppet without strings.

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