To those who curse Hollywood's supposed liberal bias, here's a remedy. A film in production casts Bill Murray and Laura Linney as live-in cousins involved in an extramarital affair in "Hyde Park on the Hudson". The project has been funded and cast, while another Roosevelt biography that would have told the story of General Smedley Butler who thwarted the 1934 Banker's Plot, which Oliver Stone was to have co-written and Directed, has been abandoned.
The multiplex portrait of FDR's alleged incest is getting first attention in a local New York newspaper:
HYDE PARK — Academy Award-nominated actor Bill Murray has agreed to portray President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a new movie and was in the town Sunday researching the role.
Murray, well-known for appearing on "Saturday Night Live" from 1976 to 1980, will play the 32nd president and Hyde Park native in "Hyde Park on Hudson."
Rhinebeck resident Richard Nelson, who wrote the screenplay for "Hyde Park on Hudson," confirmed Monday that Murray has agreed to take the role.
"Hyde Park on Hudson" will focus on the late commander-in-chief's relationship with his cousin, Margaret "Daisy" Suckley. Historians have concluded that Roosevelt and Suckley, who lived at the Wilderstein estate in Rhinebeck, were intimately involved.
Meanwhile, the book and movie that Stone was working on in 2000 has disappeared. The Smedley Butler project was apparently abandoned by Stone after a falling out with the book's original authors.
Oliver Stone's interest in the Smedley Butler affair was first reported in a 2000:
Stone Sets Sights on Roosevelt
Updated 3:29 PM ET July 28, 2000
NEW YORK (AP) - Oliver Stone has his sights set on another conspiracy.
The "JFK" director wants to make a movie about an alleged plot by rich
Republicans to topple President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, according to
Friday's Daily News.
"The coup d'etat planned against President Roosevelt has amazingly
disappeared from the history books," Stone writes in the introduction to the
newly published book, "Oliver Stone's USA: Film, History and Controversy."
Stone cites J.P. Morgan Jr., Douglas MacArthur, the media and others as
conspirators in their unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the president, the
Daily News reported. Stone is still working on the script. He is basing it partly on William
Corson and Joseph Trento's book, "The Last President," due out in 2002.
But, neither the book nor the film ever appeared after Stone took an interest in the project, reportedly contributing personally to a rewrite of the script. As The New York Post reported the following year:
Writers William Corson and Joseph Trento have pulled a literary reverse. A year ago, they sold film rights to a nonfiction project called "The Last President"- about a real-life plot to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 - to producer Arnold Copelson. Copelson has since gotten Oliver Stone and 20th Century Fox interested in the project.
Now, with Stone said to be well along in writing the script, the authors have turned around and sold the book proposal to Simon & Schuster's Free Press imprint for an estimated $200,000. According to Free Press editor Chad Conway, the book will detail how some of the nation's leading capitalists - alarmed by the election of FDR and his plans to introduce radical reforms during the Great Depression - tried to engineer a military coup to overthrow the government. The plotters first talked to General Douglas MacArthur and then to General Smedley Darlington Butler, Conway says. "Butler eventually exposed the plot," he says.
< . . .>
Corson is a writer and former FBI agent, and Trento works for the Public Education Center. "Corson's father was one of the guys involved with investigating the original plot," Conway says. The Free Press is planning a 100,000 print run for the book for fall 2002.
Simon & Schuster and 20th Century Fox are owned by NewsCop (as is The NY Post, come to think of it). 9/11 also happened. The Smedley Butler story did not. Stone, instead, went on to film a pair of curiously ambivalent films with mixed reviews about Presidents Richard Nixon and George W. Bush.
It seems this has not been a viable environment for a project that deals with the attempted fascist coup against FDR. Maybe, it's time, though, for Hollywood to tell that story. In the meantime, Roosevelt's reputation will have to endure the airing of the salacious "Hyde Park on the Hudson."
While this film will probably get a small audience, more Americans will probably know about "Daisy" Suckley and FDR than they do about Smedley Butler. There's something very wrong about that.