Over the past few weeks we’ve been getting casting news on Clint Eastwood’s John Edgar Hoover biopic J. Edgar which has Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. The Social Network‘s Armie Hammer and Dame Judi Dench signed on, and Charlize Theron was in talks until she was offered roles in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Snow White and the Huntsman.
Now according to Deadline Naomi Watts has stepped in to replace Theron and will play Helen Gandy, a Justice Department file clerk Hoover selected as his personal secretary at the age of 21, and who wound up working for him for over 54 years.
In the film DiCaprio will play J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who was surrounded by controversy as his career in the Bureau progressed. Hammer will play lawyer-turned-FBI-official — and, some say, Hoover’s lover — Clyde Tolson. Though the pair didn’t always agree on political tactics, Tolson remained a loyal friend and advisor to Hoover.
Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl) is set to play Agent Smith, a clean-cut operative hired by Hoover to write his biography; Josh Lucas plays aviator Charles Lindbergh; Damon Herriman plays Bruno Hauptmann, the German immigrant accused of kidnapping Lindbergh’s 20-month baby in 1932. Called the crime of the century, Hauptmann’s trial was a major case for Hoover.
No word on when filming will begin but with the majority of the cast signed on it will probably be sometime over the next few months.