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Casting the Robert Moses Role in HBO's Upcoming Film

Oliver Stone is reportedly set to direct an adaption of 'The Power Broker'

New York’s master builder is going Hollywood. A biopic is reportedly in the works on the life of Robert Moses, the controversial and prolific builder who dramatically altered the landscape of New York City in the early and mid-20th century.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed recently that HBO and director Oliver Stone are teaming up to produce the film, based on Robert A. Caro’s 1974 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, The Power Broker. (HBO had previously optioned another book on Moses, Anthony Flint’s 2009 Wrestling with Moses.)

Turning Caro’s wide-ranging 1,200-pager on Moses’ entire life into a film seems a daunting task. We can probably expect to see some flashbacks, but chances are the film will have to focus on the prime  years of Moses’ career, beginning around the late 1930s up to his ultimate downfall in the early ‘60s.

So the big question: who should play Robert Moses? He’d have to be older (but not too old) to play Moses from his mid-40s to his early 70s, and obviously there should at least be some sort of a physical similarity. Moses, known for his vindictiveness and unforgiving impatience for ineptitude, would also have to be played by someone with serious mean-guy chops.

Below are a few who we think could fit the bill. Add your own ideas in the comments.

Thanks to the following for their suggestions: @steveleathers, @paulgoldberger, @williaminsd, @jacobsoboroff, @coopnytimes, @urbablurb, @halbur, @gpe, @eldadgo, @ingasaffron, and @e_jaffe.

About the Author

  • Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.