The Hollywood Reporter has info on the HBO biopic of longtime WaPo publisher Katharine Graham, who took over the paper in 1963 after her husband committed suicide. The desired casting is Laura Linney as the lead, and Joan Didion has agreed to write her first solo screenplay. The project's still in its early stage, but it could focus on Graham's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1995 memoir Personal History or any number of recollections from the period. Here's why this could be incredible.Director of The Human Stain Robert Benton is currently penciled in as the film's director. His last movie, 2007's Charles Baxter adaptation Feast of Love was the most depressing movie since Atom Egoyan killed a bus full of schoolchildren in The Sweet Hereafter, so he'll be able to deal with the sadder aspects of Graham's life. Before she died in 2001, Graham weathered a turbulent relationship with her bipolar philandering husband, and her decades in the newspaper business brought the Washington Post to heights it had never before experienced.
This will be the first return to scripted drama for Didion since she collaborated with her since-deceased husband John Gregory Dunne on 1996's Up Close and Personal. Having struggled with several losses in recent years (chronicled in The Year of Magical Thinking) this look at the life of Graham (pictured with Truman Capote at right) should make for an unbelievable film, although it surely won't perk up the author's overall spirit about our country's future. Now if we can just get Entourage to stop torturing the nation's young people, we'd be getting somewhere, HBO.