Director James Ponsoldt has been looking at making the Hillary Clinton biopic Rodham his next project, but he has been held up by his inability to secure financing for the project. But Lionsgate is appearing to be opening up their checkbook according to a report from Deadline, who states the the mini-major is in early talks to fund the feature.
Deadline is also reporting that several actresses are circling the lead role of a Washington DC lawyer working on the Watergate investigation while being courted by a young ambitious Arkansas political hopeful by the name of Bill. Previously, Carrie Mulligan had passed on the project so Ponsoldt reportedly approached his The Spectacular Now star Brie Larson about the part. It is unknown if she is still in possible contention for the part.
Although the 2016 presidential election seems far away to most folks, politically, it is right around the corner and even though this project is not really centered on her politics in the draft of the screenplay that I read when it made last year’s Black List, there will probably be some who will dismiss it out of hand as propaganda for the potential presidential candidate. While the stereotype of a liberal Hollywood exists, and may to some extent be true, political leanings are not the primary driving force in the decision to make films. It is almost certainly a business decision. If that were not true, than a film like College Republicans would have gotten a greenlight rather than dying in development hell with the likes of director Richard Linklater and stars Shia LaBeouf and Paul Dano attached.
In the past several years there have been a number of potential politically-themed scripts that have made the rounds of Hollywood, some of them garnering enough of a reputation to make it onto the annual best-unproduced-screenplay list that is the Black List. But Rodham is currently the only one that has made it this far along the process and I would state that that is more to do with the quality of the material rather than any political motivation.