Boy, Billy Bob Thornton with no hair really looks like James Carville, huh?

That’s definitely not an accidental resemblance. The new film Our Brand Is Crisis is based on a 2005 documentary of the same name that featured the real Carville and his team of political consultants helping a presidential candidate run for election in Bolivia. In the fictional version, directed by David Gordon Green, Sandra Bullock stars as a “Calamity” Jane Bodine, who is hired to help a candidate win an election against a man whose backed by the Carville character (Thornton). That character is now named Pat Candy, but there’s no mistaking that hairless dome.

For sake of comparison, here’s the trailer for the original Our Brand Is Crisis documentary:

Other than the basic setting and concept, the two movies look pretty different. There’s no Bullock character (at least in the trailer), nor any battle between political operatives. It’s all about the behind-the-scenes wheelings and dealings in the Carville camp. That’s a striking contrast in marketing (if not filmmaking), and it will be interesting to see how faithful to the original doc and the real-life events the finished film remains.

It’s also interesting to see David Gordon Green trying something new, after a series of big-budget Hollywood comedies (like Pineapple Express and Your Highness), and then a series of super-low-budget indies (like Prince Avalanche and Joe). This doesn’t really fit into either of those categories, or anything he’s done before. What’s his angle on all of this?

We’ll know soon, when Our Brand Is Crisis premieres at the Toronto International Festival, before opening in theaters on October 30.

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