As a Tennessean, I am proud that my state produced the most insane President ever elected to office. That President was Andrew Jackson.
I was recently excited to find him listed as one of the most badass presidents of all time in an excellent article on Cracked.com. (The aforementioned article is also laugh-out-loud funny, by the way.)
A new biography written by Jon Meacham (Newsweek editor, and another native Tennessean) observes that Jackson was the only President to ever physically assault a would-be assassin.
In fact, after Richard Lawrence jumped from a crowd and attempted to shoot Jackson, his pistol misfired. Lawrence pulled out a second pistol. It also misfired. Jackson proceeded to beat the shit out Lawrence with his cane. Had he not been restrained, Jackson likely would have killed the man.
Why did the two pistols, later found to be in perfect working order, misfire? I believe the most plausible theory comes from Daniel O’Brien over at Cracked, who postulates that the bullets were simply too afraid of Jackson to leave the guns. We’re talking about a man who regularly dueled while he was sitting as President of the United States. When dueling with a man named Charles Dickinson, Jackson graciously offered his opponent the first shot. He then stood perfectly still as Dickinson fired his weapon and struck Jackson in the chest. Shaking off the wound like a mosquito bite, Jackson raised his pistol and shot Dickinson dead. The bullet remained in Jackson’s chest for the next 19 years.
Last night, Meacham was interviewed on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. As Meacham talked about Jackson, I caught myself thinking, “Why hasn’t anyone made a movie about this guy?”
I then asked myself, “Who would be the guy to play Jackson?”
The answer came to me like a thunderbolt: Hugh Laurie.
It’s not uncommon here on FSR to speculate about films with just the barest rumor suggesting their existence. Someone announces that some director is in talks to make a film about an obscure Marvel superhero and immediately we all want to jump in, guessing who might be cast, how great the movie might be, or badly it might suck. The speculation is all in fun, but hardly practical, as rumors in Hollywood are generally as insubstantial as air molecules, and equally as abundant.
But this idea was just too entirely awesome to remain only in my head. So I’m going to ask you, dear readers, to help start a Hollywood rumor. The rumor is that Ridley Scott is in negotiations to make a film based on the life of Andrew Jackson, starring Hugh Laurie. I think Scott is the best choice for director, based on his work on The Duellists. (Being able to shoot an exciting duel will be an important part of an Andrew Jackson film, since this was apparently his favorite pastime.)
Tell all your friends, and let’s make this happen. Especially if you live in Hollywood or in the greater Los Angeles area, I’m counting on you to get this out there. It won’t be easy. But if we work really hard at it, we will likely be rewarded with the greatest movie yet fashioned by human hands.
Tell all your friends, and thanks in advance.