Hugh Jackman is running for President, or he is in a project currently in development entitled The Frontrunner. According to a scoop first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Jackman appears set to portray Gary Hart in Jason Reitman‘s forthcoming political biopic. The film will focus on Hart – a former Senator from the state of Colorado – and his efforts to secure the Democratic nomination for the 1998 presidential election. In the end, scandal doomed his chances.
The Frontrunner marks a return of sorts for Reitman, who dabbled with politics with his critically admired debut feature Thank You For Smoking (2006), a searing satire which centered on the tobacco lobby. Reitman will direct and co-pen the screenplay alongside journalist Matt Bai and House of Cards alum Jay Carson, former press secretary of Hillary Clinton. The project is based on Bai’s 2014 book All the Truth is Out.
Hart’s story represents a recurring theme in modern-day politics and likely will serve as a topical project as it heads into further development. Ahead of the 1988 election, Hart was perceived as the frontrunner to head to the Democratic ticket before revelations came to surface of his affair with Donna Rice. The affair shot his meteoric politic rise to a halt and forced him to eventually drop out of the race and further represented a tonal shift on terms of the tabloid-style media coverage of politics – beforehand personal scandals were often left off the front page. As history would document, the Democratic nomination eventually went to Mike Dukakis (former governor of Massachusetts) and the election went to the Republican candidate, George H.W. Bush.
Jackman, an Oscar nominee for his starring role in the 2012 musical Les Misérables, recently earned some of the best reviews of career in this spring’s blockbuster Logan, his reported swan song to his signature Wolverine role. He next headlines the Fox musical The Greatest Showman, due in theaters this Christmas. Reitman, who earned an Oscar nomination for directing the 2007 smash comedy Juno, is currently in post-production on Tully, a film that reunites the director his his Young Adult leading lady Charlize Theron.
As of now, no production time table or release plans have yet to be panned out for The Frontrunner. We will stay tuned.