The W. news cycle is picking up again in advance of its Oct. 17 release date, and this time around no one even had to go to jail: A few days after Vanity Fair showcased a fresh family photo from the Shreveport set, a new, more irony-embracing TV spot is circulating online. View it after the jump, and tell us if Defamer's finely calibrated crystal ball didn't see the George W. Bush and Friends Variety Hour vibe coming a mile away. And if you still don't believe Oliver Stone had a laff riot in mind from the belated start, a new interview with GQ not only confirms it, but introduces a fantastic, regrettably retroactive casting rumor that would have elevated our expectations beyond W. simply backfiring in Democrats' faces next month:

[W]e were turned down by everybody for money, including your Aunt Gertrude. It was humiliating. I make no bones about it. I think this is a great subject. I don’t think I have a bad track record. I needed a star, though, and Josh Brolin was not a star. Originally I went for Christian Bale. We did some rigorous prosthetic tests and spent a lot of dough—thousands and thousands of dollars—and then Christian said, “I just don’t feel like I can do it.” I met Josh and liked him. He was more rural Americana. But man, he was scared shitless. ... [Bush] is a different man; he’s not as dark or deep as someone like Nixon. The style is a time trip through three different eras, to give you a sense of young, middle, and old. It’s light. [...] [I]t has to be done with an ebullience and a certain fun, because the guy is goofy. He’s a goofball! And I think he endeared himself to people because he couldn’t get anything right. Kubrick was an idol of mine. I grew up on Strangelove and movies like Network, and they made a big impact on me. So yeah, W. is a satire.

Yeah, whatever — again, we knew that. But what "rigorous prosthetic tests" must Bale have gone through to try out for President Bush? And how lucky is Stone to have went with the guy who got locked up for sassing the police and not for allegedly assaulting Momzo the Clown? Maybe this whole thing is meant to be after all.