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HBO adds Woody Harrelson to 'Game Change' cast

HBO Friday added Woody Harrelson to the cast of "Game Change," the made-for-TV movie about the 2008 presidential election that will start filming this month in Maryland.

Harrelson will play Steve Schmidt, a senior campaign advisor to Sen. John McCain. It's a big role as Schmidt was deeply involved in the complicated relationship between McCain and Palin during the campaign.

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And after the election, the gloves really came off between Palin and Schmidt. With Harrelson in the role, this relationship among Schmidt, McCain and Palin should be some fun to watch. If anyone was wondering how large a role the backstage struggle to keep Palin from going totally off the rails during the campaign was going to play, the casting of a major talent like Harrelson in the role of Schmidt should provide a fairly clear answer.

With Julianne Moore as Palin, Ed Harris as McCain, and now Harrelson as Schmidt, this is shaping up to be one fine cast. I would pay box-office movie-ticket prices to see these three working together.

I cannot wait until the cast and crew start arriving in the Baltimore area. Len Amato, president of HBO Films, said in a Sun interview that production will run between one and two months "in and around Baltimore" this spring. Amato also told the Sun that they were looking to cast "great actors" -- not "imitators" -- in the major roles. So far, he's certainly made good on that.

Here's how Jeanne Cummings described the rocky relationship between Palin and Schmidt in a piece for Politico in January 2010:

(Click ahead for a look at Schmidt side by side with Harrelson.)

Here's the release from HBO:

In the wake of the casting of Moore, Palin's colleague on Fox News, Sean Hannity, interviewed her about the film.

"I'll just grit my teeth and bear whatever comes what may with that movie," she told Hannity.

Looking at the casting of a star like Harrelson as Schmidt, I hope Palin's teeth are in very good shape. I have a feeling she is in for a lot of gritting.

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