George Clooney to Direct, Star in The Ides Of March

George Clooney is set to star in and direct a new film, The Ides of March.  The film, based on Beau Willimon’s play Farragut North, centers on a primary race for the Democratic presidential nominee.

Clooney will play Governor Morris, a candidate in the race. Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson), Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote), Evan Rachel Wood (Across the Universe) and Paul Giamatti (Sideways) will round out the star-studded cast.

Gosling will play the lead as Governor Morris’ press spokesman—a character who falls victim to the seedy underworld of politics. Hoffman will portray Gosling’s boss, while Tomei will show up as a reporter for The New York Times. Wood will play a teenage intern, and Giamatti will be the campaign manager for an opposing candidate.

Clooney will produce the film and co-write the screenplay, along with his producing and writing partner Grant Heslov. Willimon is also helping to adapt the play into a movie.

The Ides of March will be Clooney’s fourth directorial feature. His most successful film, Good Night, and Good Luck, which he also co-wrote, was nominated for six Academy Awards. Clooney’s other two films are Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Leatherheads.

Filming for The Ides of March is expected to begin in Ohio and Michigan in February or March of 2011.

The Ides of March should be a great film. Clooney proved with Good Night, and Good Luck that he can successfully write and direct political dramas, so The Ides of March is in good hands.

Plus, have you seen the cast?

There is really not much better talent in Hollywood than Clooney, Gosling, Tomei, Hoffman, Wood and Giamatti. Clooney just needs to add Sam Rockwell to the cast, and then it would be perfect (in my opinion).

The only way The Ides of March could go wrong is if the film does not devote a proper amount of time to each character. Ensemble films have a tendency to feel bloated if each character has too much screen time, but they are also criticized if some characters get more time than others (without a good reason for doing so).

But, with Clooney at the helm, The Ides of March ought to be fantastic and a contender during the 2011 or (most likely) 2012 Oscar season.