Ryan Gosling is "in discussions" to star in George Clooney's big screen adaptation of Beau Willimon's play "Farragut North," the Oscar-nominated actor's publicist has confirmed to TheWrap.
Gosling will play a young, idealistic communications director (i.e. press secretary) who works for a presidential candidate. Over the course of the campaign, his seasoned rivals teach him a few things about how to get ahead in the dirty world of politics.
Gosling is one of the finest actors of his generation, and "Farragut North" would represent another promising project in his impressive filmography. The "Half Nelson" star should be well-served by Willimon's thoughtful text.
Leonardo DiCaprio had been eyeing the plum part two years ago when Warner Bros. optioned the play, and Chris Pine was most recently liked to the coveted role, having impressed audiences at the Geffen Playhouse last year.
John Gallagher Jr. first played the character in the original New York incarnation of the play, which Willimon wrote after working for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign.
While the project has no distributor yet, Clooney and his Smoke House producing partner Grant Heslov hope to begin production in March, as they're in the process of securing financing.
The great Gosling is expected to be major contender this awards season based on the strong reviews he earned for his performance opposite Michelle Williams in Derek Cianfrance's "Blue Valentine." The Weinstein Company is scheduled to release that domestic drama on Dec. 31, just in time to meet the deadline for the Oscars.
Gosling next stars alongside Steve Carell in the Warner Bros. comedy "Crazy, Stupid Love." He's about to begin filming Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" with Carey Mulligan and Christina Hendricks.
Gosling is represented by IFA Talent Agency and Artist Management.
Deadline first reported that Gosling was in talks to join the project.