Josh Lucas has been one of those actors in need of one really good movie. He doesn’t strike me as a bad actor, just a guy who doesn’t have the best scripts.
Now he has (reportedly) a very good one in J. Edgar. Deadline Hollywood Daily reports he’s signed on to play Charles Lindbergh, who had the misfortune to be famous for the most exhilarating of reasons, and the most horrific and depressing.
We already know from previous casting that J. Edgar will deal with the Lindbergh baby, as Damon Herriman has been cast as Bruno Hauptmann, the man convicted of the kidnapping and murder, but whose guilt has always been questioned. I imagine there’s a scene of Lucas screaming and sobbing at Herriman in our movie watching future.
I’ve been a little dubious of J. Edgar’s Lindbergh subplot — the 1930s were the real heyday of crime after all, and it was the crime sprees of Capone and Dillinger that helped form the FBI. (It’s said that Hoover exaggerated the threat of Depression robberies just to strengthen his federal power.) It seems like that’s a dramatic enough backdrop to frame the tumultuous relationship of Hoover and Clyde Tolson.
But we have seen the Depression gangsters a dozen times over. The Lindbergh baby has never been at the center of a film (just a dozen crude pop culture references), and the FBI certainly played a part in its investigation. It’s probably also one of the rare times Hoover publicly stuck up for the dubiously convicted immigrant. So, this could be a fresh and dramatic angle on the 1930s feds we all know, or it could just be too many historical personages for one film.