Hillary Clinton on screen after all? Two films moving forward. (+video)(Read article summary)
Earlier this week, two television projects about Hillary Clinton were scrapped under political pressure, but two films about the potential 2016 candidate have cropped up.
But two films are moving ahead about the early favorite among potential Democratic presidential candidates, which means Mrs. Clinton could very well be on the silver screen before the 2016 presidential election.
Citizens United, a conservative advocacy group, plans to release a film about her tenure as secretary of State, and in Hollywood, a screenplay of her young days as a lawyer on the Watergate case is slowly moving forward, according to reports by The Hollywood Reporter.
On the eve of the 2008 presidential primaries, Citizens United released "Hillary: The Movie," an unflattering portrayal of the then-presidential candidate. The Federal Election Commission placed restrictions on the film, which Citizens United wanted pay-per-view cable TV to air, on the grounds that it violated the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act. Citizens United then sued the FEC.
The US Supreme Court ended up deciding the case in favor of Citizens United in a landmark decision that significantly broadened corporations' ability to spend corporate money during election season.
“This is why I went to the Supreme Court,” Mr. Bossie told The Hollywood Reporter. “Now that I won that case, I can do whatever I want with this new movie. I can advertise it on radio and TV, show it on TV whenever I want to – all the things they stopped us from doing with 'Hillary: The Movie.' ”
The second Clinton film of interest, the biographical screenplay entitled "Rodham," is to be based on a script by Young Il Kim and is set to be directed by James Ponsoldt, according to The New York Times. Mr. Kim’s script was floated around Hollywood last year, making it into the industry’s “Black List” of best unproduced screenplays. The latest version of the script – which is said to eliminate some of the racier scenes between young Bill and Hillary – is expected soon, the Times reported.
While “Rodham” lacks both cast and financier, the film could fare better than the recently canceled productions about Clinton: The Hollywood film, unaffiliated with a news outlet, would not face the same kinds of conflicts that stymied production on the two television projects.
Up until Monday, CNN was planning a documentary about Clinton, and NBC was working on a fictional miniseries about the Clinton family, with Diane Lane cast as Mrs. Clinton. But after the networks announced those projects in July, the Republican National Committee voted to ban CNN and NBC from hosting or sponsoring Republican primary debates, if either network proceeded with their Clinton programs.
At NBC, tensions within the network helped bring about the project’s demise, according to Associated Press reports. There was concern that the network’s news division would receive backlash about the planned miniseries. NBC’s chief foreign-affairs correspondent said the show was a “really bad idea given the timing,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
As for CNN's Clinton project, Charles Ferguson, who was supposed to direct the documentary, expressed his frustrations in a blog entry for The Huffington Post Monday. A shroud of secrecy, he said, surrounds the Clinton family, and he placed blame on the Clintons, rather than the RNC, for the demise of his documentary.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill, asked for a comment on Mr. Ferguson’s decision, said, “Lights, camera, no reaction,” according to AP.
NBC made the announcement that the miniseries would not air several hours after CNN’s announcement.