Ben Stiller, the comedic star and director of films like Zoolander, Tropic Thunder and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, is getting a bit more political with his next film, which he’ll be directing and producing for Focus Features, Bag Man. The film is being adapted from Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC podcast of the same name, which follows the scandal of Richard Nixon’s Vice President, Spiro Agnew.
The podcast’s synopsis reads, “is it possible for an American Vice President to carry out a criminal enterprise inside the White House and have nobody remember? To have one of the most brazen political bribery scandals in American history play out before the country while nobody’s paying attention? In her first original podcast, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow goes back 45 years to dig into a story that got overshadowed in its day. There’s intrigue. Corruption. Envelopes of cash delivered to the White House. It’s a story that’s not well known, but it probably should be. Especially today.”
Agnew was investigated by the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland in 1973 on suspicion of criminal conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud. His scandal was overshadowed by Nixon’s own scandal, but Maddow’s podcast brought it to light and reflected current events under the Trump Administration.
The film is being written by Adam Perlman, Stiller and Mike Yarvitz, who produced the podcast and co-wrote the book adaptation, Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House. It’s unclear if Stiller will also star in the film or not.