George Clooney

Actor George Clooney is close to finding his star for "Farragut North," which is set against the backdrop of a close run presidential race.

This week Clooney is said to be negotiating with Ryan Gosling to play the lead role of a young communications director who works for a fast rising presidential candidate.

During the course of the campaign, the idealistic young is shocked by the backstabbing and other dirty political trickery of his more seasoned rivals.

Gosling may play the role once eyed by Leonardo DiCaprio when the Beau Willimon play was optioned by Warner Bros two years ago. Clooney already was looking at it as a directing vehicle back then.

Willimon worked for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential run, and his own experiences informed the action of the play, which crackles with insider wit and observations.  

Gosling is also expected to be a factor in the Best Actor race, by merit of his performance opposite Michelle Williams in "Blue Valentine."