By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com December 10, 2010 at 1:58AM
Even before "The Social Network" hit theaters, its cast was given enormous career boosts -- almost everyone involved picked up sought-after roles, from Andrew Garfield and Rooney Mara using the immense buzz on the film to land the leads in "Spider-Man" and "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," to this week's news that Armie Hammer would join Leonardo DiCaprio in Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar."
However, one guy who, to date, hadn't quite managed to cash in his new credibility, is British actor Max Minghella. The son of the late, much-missed director Anthony Minghella, he's been hotly tipped for a few years now, having been seen in "Bee Season" and "Art School Confidential," but his portrayal of Winklevi ally Divya Narendra in David Fincher's film finally realized some of that promise -- we rewatched "The Social Network" this week, and his performance is one of the film's hidden pleasures.
Until now, he hasn't signed on to anything else, although he's been busy filming the sci-fi thriller "The Darkest Hour," alongside Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby, but today brings news, via Deadline, that the actor is the latest addition to George Clooney's political drama "The Ides Of March." Minghella will play the role of 'Ben Harper' (presumably not the singer -- in the script that we have, Ben's a recent college grad who works on the political campaign) in Clooney's adaptation of the play "Farragut North," which toplines Ryan Gosling as the young press secretary for a presidential candidate (Clooney).
There's an outstanding cast on board, with Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman (who wasn't certain at one stage, but seems to definitely be in the film), Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood all making appearances. Furthermore, Baz Bamigboye reported last week that Jeffrey Wright is also in the cast. There's no word who he's playing, but more Jeffrey Wright is always a good thing.
As our towering pile of "West Wing" box sets might suggest, we're easy lays for behind-the-scenes political dramas, so this ranks high on our most-anticipated list for 2011, but even those with little interest in the subject matter must be salivating at the prospect of Clooney, who's shown mostly very solid directorial chops ("Leatherheads"? What's "Leatherheads"?) collaborating with a cast like this one. Filming kicks off in February, for an as yet unnamed release date in the fall of 2011.