The upcoming Fox News sexual harassment movie was dropped by Annapurna two weeks before production was set to begin, according to Variety. Though no official reason was given, Megan Ellison’s Annapurna reportedly dropped out of the project over budgetary concerns. There is no word yet on how the move will affect the production, or whether it will be postponed. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Bron Studios, which financed Fences, will board the project. The film hopes to get a distributor in the coming weeks.
The screenplay was written by Charles Randolph, who wrote The Big Short. The project is set to be directed by Jay Roach (Meet the Fockers, the Austin Powers films, Trumbo).
The highly anticipated but as-yet-untitled ensemble drama was gathering an A-list cast. John Lithgow was set to star as media mogul Roger Ailes, Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, and Nicole Kidman as Fox News Gretchen Carlson, who sued Ailes for harassment in July 2016. Margot Robbie, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, was cast as a fictional Fox News associate producer. Yesterday, it was announced Malcolm McDowell, Alex from A Clockwork Orange, signed on to play Rupert Murdoch. The film also cast Saturday Night Live‘s Kate McKinnon, Allison Janney from The Help. The characters were also reported to include fired host Bill O’Reilly.
Ailes died in 2017. The film centers on his downfall after sexual harassment charges forced him to resign in 2016, and the women who challenged the news network.
The feature, which has been tentatively called Fair and Balanced, is being produced by Theron, along with Beth Kono and AJ Dix via their Denver & Delilah banner. Roach, Randolph and Margaret Riley are also producing.
This is the second project inspired by the Ailes charges. Showtime is producing an eight-episode series that will star Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes. The project is based on Gabriel Sherman’s Ailes biography The Loudest Voice in the Room.
Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.
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