Clooney's 'Ides of March' Movie Stems From Local Scout

A play written by a former Eureka-Wildwood Eagle Scout led to a recent Academy Award nomination for a new movie with many notable stars. The movie emphasizes difficult times for government, no matter which side one's on.

Does the end justify the means in the national political arena? Actor George Clooney thought that concept deserved to be explored. But who knew Clooney's new political thriller movie had ties to and —turns out the creativity behind the plot was no other than a local Eagle Scout.

P. Beau Willimon, 33, grew up in West St. Louis County, and was active in Eureka-Wildwood Boy Scout Troop 456. In 1994, he became an Eagle Scout with Troop 456, the Mountain Man Troop. He now resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Willimon recently was nominated for an Academy Award for the Best Adapted Screenplay The Ides of March with George Clooney and Grant Heslov, which is based on Williams' play Farragut North. The play was reviewed as being about "American fast lane political shenanigans," per Ron Levitt, Florida Media News and ENV Magazine, who called Williams "a knowledgeable political operative" and media expert to several Democratic candidates.

The Ides of March story takes place during the frantic last days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, when an up-and-coming campaign press secretary (Ryan Gosling) finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate's shot at the presidency.

The original play script won the 2005 Dayton Playhouse Future Fest. After that, Clooney contacted Williams and purchased the rights to the screenplay and directed the film. 

Other actors in the movie, in addition to Clooney and Gosling, are Evan Rachel Wood, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and Marisa Tomei. At one point, it was rumored that Leonardo DiCaprio would be in the starring role.

Willimon now has written films for Warner Bros., Fox 2000 and Summit Entertainment.

Here's a shout-out to one of our own creatives:  Beau Willimon. Bravo!

Editor's Note: Thanks to Michelle Detering, Boy Scout Troop 456 public relations committee, for supplying information about this fun fact. Note that the last name of the former scout originally was reported from the scouts as William and the review of his play researched by Patch also referenced that as his last name. However, his real last name was reconfirmed and updated to Willimon in this article after a Patch reader, Bill Kennedy, inquired about it.

Lou Malnassy February 09, 2012 at 04:25 PM
It's good to see that the area's wealth of creative talent continues to grow.
James Dochnal February 11, 2012 at 05:37 AM
I see this movie playing all over the world from the clip


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