Stone’s My Lai Massacre film, Pinkville, has run the casting gamut from perfect (Bruce Willis as General William Peers) to intriguing (Channing Tatum as a helicopter pilot who tries to stop the killing) to "we’ll see" (Xzibit as a soldier who feels that the massacre was, on balance, justified). But even if all of these actors turn in career work, none of it will matter if Stone miscasts the only role that matters: Lt. William Calley, the man who was convicted of ordering the murder of 500 innocent Vietnamese civilians.

Michael Pitt doesn’t jump out as spot-on (he’s way too pretty), but his vacant gaze might go well with Calley’s alleged incompetence and general lack of intellect. From what I’ve gathered, Calley is not the central character in Pinkville (Willis and Tatum will apparently split the primary focus of the narrative), but as the iconic figure of ineptitude at the center of this atrocity, his presence must be palpable (and, unless Stone is aiming for some insane kind of conciliatory portrait, fury-inducing). Pitt’s been improving over the last five years, and I hear he’s given his best performance to date in Michael Haneke’s Funny Games U.S. He might make a helluva mass murderer.

Keep in mind that Pitt is only "in talks" to play Calley. And also take note that the great Toby Jones – the better Capote and one of the best things in Frank Darabont’s remarkable The Mist - has been cast as the conscience-stricken Lt. Andre Feher. Pinkville was written by Mikko Alanne, and will begin production early next year.