Disciples tells the story of four men who fought for the Office of Strategic Services spy agency in World War II and who later were among the most controversial directors the CIA has ever had: Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby and William Casey. During the war, Dulles ran the OSS’s most successful spy operations against the Axis. Casey organized top-secret missions to penetrate Nazi Germany. Colby led daring OSS commando raids behind the lines in occupied France and Norway. Richard Helms mounted risky intelligence programs against the Russians in the ruin of Berlin.Visit Douglas Waller's website.
Here are the actors ideally suited to play these four men:
For Allen Dulles – Michael Keaton. Maddeningly secretive, Dulles looked like the headmaster of an upper-class English boarding school, dressed usually in bow tie and tweed sport coat, his wiry grey hair slightly mussed, his moustache carefully trimmed, a pipe almost always clenched between his teeth. With his sparkling grey-blue eyes and soft voice that invited people to pour their hearts out, Dulles had a talent for convincing operatives to risk their lives for him. With the right makeup, Keaton, who was superb in Birdman, would be an ideal Allen Dulles.
For Richard Helms – Jake Gyllenhaal. Helms was a tall, handsome Naval officer in World War II, with a Mona Lisa-like smile, his hair neatly slicked back, and a cold, aloof personality. The consummate intelligence operative, Helms detested drawing attention to himself. He viewed his OSS service with clinical dispassion, never with nostalgia. Gyllenhaal, who has ranged widely in the characters he’s taken on, could pull off the subtleness needed to play Richard Helms.
For William Colby – Bradley Cooper: Colby looked like a man who could be overlooked. He was slightly built, he had pale dull eyes behind horn-rimmed glasses, and his hair was always parted neatly at the side. But he had an inner drive and courage that others found intimidating. Classical Greek and Roman heroes intrigued him. Cooper would have to bulk down, get a 1940’s haircut, and put on glasses, but he demonstrated in American Sniper that he can be a low-key warrior, as Bill Colby was.
Bill Casey – Paul Giamatti. Casey was an in-your-face kind of guy. A fellow OSS officer, who served with him in the agency’s London station, said “you could not not pay attention to him.” A voracious reader with a photographic memory, Casey could retain passages almost verbatim from articles he seemed to be just flipping through. He made a bad first impression with his slovenly appearance, but his mind and body were constantly on the go. Giamatti is perfect for the part.