Star-packed Roger Ailes drama gets an awards season release

John Lithgow will play the late, disgraced head of Fox News.


Charles Bramesco


Roger Ailes, the serial sexual predator and founder of right-wing television network Fox News, died in May 2017. A select few mourned his passing, many more breathed a sigh of relief, and now the final stage of the national grief process has arrived: a scathing, star-studded biopic.

Today, The Hollywood Reporter relays the news that a still-untitled film about Ailes and his reign of coercion at Fox will premiere in December of this year, just in time for awards season consideration. In light of the many Oscar nods for Dick Cheney portrait Vice, this shrewd choice may very well pay off, too.

Director Jay Roach also took a cue from Vice in corralling a cast made up of big names to mount a dramatization of modern history. John Lithgow will portray the notorious Ailes, while Malcolm McDowell has signed on to play mogul Rupert Murdoch, Ailes’ longtime business partner.

On the distaff side, Charlize Theron will take on Santa Claus race-denier and Fox personality Megyn Kelly, with her colleague Gretchen Carlson played by Nicole Kidman. Margot Robbie has also been confirmed as an unnamed associate producer, undoubtedly a part of the effort to expose Ailes’ misconduct spearheaded by Kelly and Carlson.

The supporting bench goes even deeper, however, with Alice Eve, Allison Janney, Mark Duplass, and Kate McKinnon all in unspecified roles.

Lately, films with even the faintest whiff of feminist messaging have tried to hitch their wagon to the public’s support of the #MeToo movement, but this one positions itself smack dab in the middle of the ongoing controversy.

With his TV movie Game Change, Roach successfully translated the hectic messiness of American politics into thoughtful entertainment; this time around, the material will be far more sensitive and the stakes much higher.

Published 6 Mar 2019

Tags: Allison Janney Charlize Theron John Lithgow Kate McKinnon Malcolm McDowell Margot Robbie Nicole Kidman

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