Was the hoax that saw Joaquin Phoenix spiral towards an apparent mental breakdown an irredeemable mess of a publicity stunt? We could be about to find out.

Rumour has it that Clint Eastwood is considering casting Phoenix in the role of Clyde Tolson in his upcoming film, Hoover.

The film is a biopic of the former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, and is likely to focus on his scandalous career and much-speculated private life. Whilst being accredited with transforming the FBI into what it is today, he also reportedly used his connections to the institution to manipulate political leaders and collect evidence through illegitimate methods. The current 10-year term limited which is now imposed upon FBI directors is said to be a result of his long and somewhat troublesome reign.

However, Hoover is likely to take a slightly more speculative approach. The rumours surrounding Hoover’s private life, and in particular, his sexuality, were rife and not entirely unfounded. Some said that he secretly enjoyed cross-dressing, whilst slightly more substantiated rumours tended to lean towards the possibility of a romantic relationship between Hoover and Tolson, his associate director.

Officially the pair were never an item, or gay for that matter, with Hoover making it his mission to destroy those who questioned his sexuality. However, the two men were undeniably close, not only working but also holidaying together, with Tolson inheriting Hoover’s entire estate upon his death.

With screenwriter Dustin Lance Black having scripted the film, it is more than likely that Hoover will seek to explore attitudes towards homosexuality within the political arena in a relatively similar way to that which won him an Oscar for his penning of Milk. Leonardo DiCaprio is soon expected to be confirmed as playing the lead role of Hoover, with Phoenix accepting the part of Tolson soon after.

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