Josh Brolin has been lined up to play the lead role in Bush, a film about the life of the current US president.

The No Country For Old Men star has been earmarked by Oliver Stone to play the president in a movie with a "behind-the-scenes" approach, the director told Daily Variety.

"Josh is actually better looking than Bush but has the same drive and charisma that Americans identify with Bush, who has some of that old-time movie-star swagger," Stone explained.

After acclaimed roles in the Coens' No Country For Old Men, American Gangster and Gus Van Sant's Milk, Brolin has become one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood.

Working from a script by Wall Street scribe Stanley Weiser, the picture is likely to begin shooting in April with much of Stone's crew ready to commence production after United Artists cancelled Pinkville, his exploration of the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war.

"If Nixon was a symphony, this is more like a chamber piece, and not as dark in tone," Stone explained.

"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."

However the famously-forthright maker of Platoon, JFK and Alexander refused to discuss his personal views of the president, saying that "the filmmaker has to hide in the work".

"Here, I'm the referee, and I want a fair, true portrait of the man," he continued.

"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."

He continued: "It includes his belief that God personally chose him to be president of the United States, and his coming into his own with the stunning, pre-emptive attack on Iraq. It will contain surprises for Bush supporters and his detractors."

21/01/2008 12:01:24