Three people I'll admit to being a fan of: Harvey Milk; Gus Van Sant; Sean Penn. Yet for some reason I'm not really looking forward to Van Sant's Milk, a biopic of openly gay politician Harvey Milk, in which Penn will play the title role. Mostly (and I said this when Penn was first attached) I can't see the cranky actor playing the typically smiling San Francisco city supervisor, who was assassinated by a co-worker in 1978. Sure, Penn is a terrific actor who can play nearly any kind of role. But Harvey Milk? I'll believe it when I see it. If you haven't already seen the Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, and you are looking forward to Milk, you might as well save the doc to watch after seeing the Hollywood version ...

... Or, this Hollywood version, at least. There are two. The other one, titled The Mayor of Castro Street, is supposed to be directed by The Usual Suspects' Bryan Singer. But according to Variety, Mayor is stuck "in strike limbo" -- Christopher McQuarrie's script is reportedly finished but failed to be submitted pre-strike. So, Milk will definitely be the first to be filmed, and therefore will likely be the first to hit theaters. Traditionally, the first of dueling biopics wins the better box office (see Capote vs. Infamous), so Mayor may not even want to bother. Unless it gets a much better actor to play Milk -- and who knows a better actor who also resembles Milk more than Penn? As much as I dislike Penn in the role, I don't see anyone else fitting the part (I'd rather just let Times be the only Milk movie). At one point, Matt Damon was also lightly attached to Milk, but the latest news makes no mention of Damon playing assassin and fellow S.F. City Supervisor Dan White, who he would be perfect as. If he were still set to play the film's villain, I would be totally into it, but without him, I'm really fearful.
CATEGORIES Casting, Cinematical