Paul Dano Is Your “College Republicans” Turd Blossom

Will Leitch
·Editor

Last year's top Black List script -- the Black List, which you probably know by now, is the yearly list of the top unproduced screenplays in Hollywood -- was "College Republicans," the real-life story of how a young Karl Rove, staking his territory as a future brilliant political advisor, pulled dirty tricks to win chairman of the national College Republicans. It's supposedly funny and gripping, while still hinting at the major effects Rove would have on the country decades later. It seems a tailor-made movie.

Which is why it's probably now, finally, getting made. (Transitions!) Richard Linklater, who seems sorta perfect for this material, is going to start filming in Austin this November, and he has his Karl Rove: It's Paul Dano, who has been waiting for a role this good since his breakthrough in "Little Miss Sunshine" and "There Will Be Blood." Originally, Shia LaBeouf was attached to play Rove, but Dano's a perfect choice: He even looks a little like young Rove. (Or "Turd Blossom," as George W. Bush famously called him.)

The other major role in the film is the late Lee Atwater, the fascinating political operative boy genius who helped George H.W. Bush get elected President and renounced some of his slime tactics on his deathbed. (He's the subject of a terrific documentary from a couple of years ago.) That has yet to be cast. We think Jesse Eisenberg would be great. Can he do a South Carolina accent?

Paul Dano to Play Karl Rove -- AKA Turd Blossom -- in 'College Republicans' [The Wrap]