Paul Dano cast as young Karl Rove

Laura Donovan Contributor

Before he was deputy chief of staff to former president George W. Bush, Karl Rove was a college Republican. “There Will Be Blood” star Paul Dano will reenact this part of Rove’s university days in the upcoming movie “College Republicans,” according to TheWrap.

Producer Maya Browne said the movie “is about when Karl Rove and Lee Atwater first met, which is when Karl Rove ran for president of the College Republicans, and that’s when they sort of discovered dirty tricks. It’s interesting to see them take that journey together.” Scheduled to begin shooting this fall, “College Republicans” is slated for a 2012 release and will be directed by “Slacker” director Richard Linklater.

Both politicos went on to lead high profile careers, with Atwater becoming chairman of the Republican National Committee and campaign manager for former president George Herbert Walker Bush, and Rove evolving into Bush Jr.’s right hand man. “W” even called Rove the “architect” behind his 2004 election victory over Senator John Kerry.

“Wall Street 2” actor Shia LaBeouf reportedly expressed an interest in taking on the headstrong role of Rove, but Browne declined to comment on whether the southern California native will appear in “College Republicans” as another character.

A New Yorker, Dano often plays outcasts and severely troubled individuals. The 27-year-old painted an eerie portrait of a disturbed young pastor in the 2007 drama, “There Will Be Blood.” In 2006, Dano played a moody teen who takes a vow of silence to prepare to get into the United States Air Force Academy. In 2004, the actor portrayed a secretly frisky über-nerd in “The Girl Next Door.”

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