Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone has secured domestic distribution for "W," his yet-to-shoot biopic of President George W. Bush.

Lionsgate has landed North American distribution rights for the film, which features Josh Brolin as President Bush and Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush.

Although "W" won't begin shooting until Monday (May 12), Stone and Lionsgate hope to have the film ready to hit theaters on Oct. 17, three weeks before the November general election.

"It's an honor to be in business with Oliver Stone, a brilliant and consistently adventurous filmmaker," says Tom Ortenberg, Lionsgate's president of theatrical films. "With 'W,' he again demonstrates his creative vitality and genius for speaking to our times."

In addition to Brolin and Banks, the look at Bush's presidency and his formative years also features James Cromwell (George Bush Senior), Ellen Burstyn (Barbara Bush), Thandie Newton ( Condoleezza Rice), Jeffrey Wright (Colin Powell), Scott Glenn (Donald Rumsfeld), Ioan Gruffudd ( Tony Blair) and, apparently, tons of prosthetic makeup.

The role of Dick Cheney has yet to be cast.

"The impact of George W. Bush's presidency will be felt for many years to come," Stone says in a statement. "Despite a meteoric, almost illogical rise to power, and a tremendous influence on the world, we don't really know much about Mr. Bush beyond the controlled images we've been allowed to see on TV. This movie's taking a bold stab at looking behind that curtain. I'm real pleased that Lionsgate has the independence necessary to bring this provocative story to an American audience."

The project, which will have a budget of under $30 million, is financed by QED Intl. and scripted by Stone and Stanley Weiser.