It's not as polished and official as the first Harry Potter photo we brought you earlier this week, but it is nevertheless the first snap of Russell Crowe filming the upcoming movie State of Play, being directed by Last King of Scotland's Kevin McDonald. It's also a shot of the man screwing up my jaunt across town earlier this week. State of Play is filming in D.C. right now, and on Tuesday they were shooting various scenes on U Street in the Northwest part of the city.
I'm not quite sure what to make of the upcoming political thriller. When the film was first announced and Brad Pitt and Ed Norton were slated to play the leads, there was definite anticipation on my part. Since then, the two have dropped out (for various reasons seemingly not related to the film), and Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck - ugh! - have replaced the two, respectively. Affleck will play the politician embroiled in a scandal surrounding the death of his mistress, while Crowe will portray Affleck's friend and politico-turned-investigative journalist. Obviously, it's a bit more complex than that, but you get the gist.
Crowe is certainly looking like a scruffy journo, though I wonder if the apparent weight gain is part of the role. It's rather funny that Crowe was filming at the iconic Ben's Chili Bowl. Perhaps his character packs on the pounds with too many cheese fries and smoked dogs? Affleck is in town as well, obviously, though no photos have surfaced of him as of yet. I'm finding it hard to picture him as a politician. He's clean-cut, sure, but certainly not leader-like.
The rest of the cast actually looks promising, though. Helen Mirren plays Crowe's boss and managing editor; Robin Wright Penn, the congressman's estranged wife; and Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, other reporter-types.
Other shots for Play took place at the Library of Congress and the Maine Avenue Fish Market. The film is based on the popular 2003 BBC mini-series and is directed by Kevin McDonald, due out sometime in 2009. Stay tuned for more updates on the film as we receive them.