Logan Lerman and Asa Butterfield are set to star in College Republicans, Deadline exclusively reported. James Schamus has signed on to direct the picture, which has been in development for over a decade.
Set in the summer of 1973, College Republicans follows Karl Rove, a political schemer and deputy chief of staff during the George W. Bush administration.
Hot off Amazon’s hit series Hunters and Josephine Decker’s Shirley, Lerman will appear as a young Lee Atwater, alongside Butterfield as Karl Rove and Looking for Alaska’s Kristine Froseth as Kate King (a composite character).
Wes Jones’ script has been in and out of production for over a decade after hitting the Black List in 2010, meaning it was one of the most-liked screenplays yet to be produced.
Much time has passed since the original screenplay was produced, and much Republican corruption has come to light – meaning the story of College Republicans has taken on a new significance recently. Adjustments have been made to the script, including composite names for lower-level players – like Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, who were previously unknown on a national scale – being replaced with their real names.
Manafort and Stone are convicted felons who have gained massive media attention due to their close links to Donald Trump.
Shia LaBoef was rumoured to star in 2010, but in 2011 it was Paul Dano expected to take the leading role with Richard Linklater directing. This ultimately fell through, and in 2014 Daniel Radcliffe was rumoured to be attached to College Republicans with Kill Your Darlings director John Krokidas and co-star Dane DeHaan.
Schamus has had a lucrative screenwriting and producing career, working on The Ice Storm, Hulk and Brokeback Mountain. College Republicans will be the second narrative feature directed by Schamus, after 2016’s Indignation which also starred Lerman.
Production is expected to begin in spring 2021.
Words by Olivia Emily
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