By Simon Dang | The Playlist January 25, 2011 at 2:11AM
Veteran thespian and Screen Actor's Guild president Ken Howard has joined the cast of Clint Eastwood's upcoming J. Edgar Hoover biopic, which will see Leonardo DiCaprio take on the role of the infamous FBI director, in the Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black-scripted tale.
Howard will play lawyer and jurist Harlan F. Stone, who served as the 52nd Attorney General of the United States, a role which saw him appoint Hoover as head of the Department of Justice's Bureau of Investigation, before going on to became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and then stepping up to be only the 12th Chief Justice of the court. It's somewhat of a leftfield casting choice though, as Howard isn't exactly the most prolific actor, although Tony Gilroy's "Michael Clayton," the latest "Rambo" sequel and HBO's "Grey Gardens" (for which he won an Emmy for in '09) number among his most recent performances.
Among those in the impressive supporting cast are "The Social Network" breakout star Armie Hammer playing Hoover's assistant/closeted lover Clyde Tolson; Josh Lucas as famed aviator Charles Lindbergh; Ed Westwick as Agent Smith, an operative gifted with writing skills; Damon Herriman as Bruno Hauptmann, the man convicted of kidnapping and killing the Lindbergh baby; and Judi Dench in an unnamed role, while Charlize Theron recently passed on the role of Helen Gandy, a Justice Department file clerk who ended up being Hoover’s personal secretary.
Last we heard, Naomi Watts and Amy Adams were being eyed by Eastwood as replacements for Theron with the final decision surely not too far way, as shooting is set to begin next month. And with Eastwood's speedy production methodology, we're expecting the film to finish in time for a fall 2011 release. [Variety]