Bombshell teases a tense work environment for women, including a cast of Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie.
A movie that is sure to be a topic of discussion on cable news for months to come finally has a title and trailer to go along with its December release date. Jay Roach and Charles Randolph’s cinematic take on the scandal that brought down Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was already a provocative subject matter even before it built a star-studded cast that includes Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie. Now that Bombshell has a tense teaser that, even without any dialogue, will put you on edge, the cable chatter is going to get loud.
Bombshell is an account of what’s been described as a pervasive toxic male culture at Fox News, cultivated by its leader Ailes. A former media consultant for the Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush White Houses, Ailes became the CEO of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News at its inception in 1996 and until his ouster in 2016 after multiple allegations of sexual harassment. Notably, it was accounts given by Fox News stars who included Fox and Friends’ Gretcha Carlson and one of the network’s then biggest primetime anchors, Megyn Kelly, that finally brought Ailes down.
In the film, Charlize Theron plays Kelly and Nicole Kidman portrays Gretcha Carlson, while Robbie as Kayla Pospisil. The film additionally includes Allison Janney as Susan Estrich, Alice Eve as Ainsley Earhardt, Mark Duplass as Douglas Brunt, Malcolm McDowell as Rupert Murdoch, and Kate McKinnon in an unspecified role. John Lithgow plays Ailes, who he described as a “crisis.”
Speaking to Deadline, Lithgow said, “It really is about six or seven extremely different women who have extremely different experiences and response of the crisis at Fox. I play the crisis.”
The film is the latest politically focused biopic from Jay Roach, who initially came from the world of comedy having helmed popular hits like the Austin Powers movies and Meet the Parents. But first on HBO and then on the big screen, Roach has been more focused on dramatizing recent political events shaping American culture, including Game Change, the HBO film about Sarah Palin’s role in the John McCain presidential campaign of 2008, Recount, which studied the thwarted 2000 Florida recount that may or may not have determined who became President of the United States, and more recently Trumbo, which was about the Hollywood Blacklist of the 1940s and ’50s. Teaming with Randolph might give Bombshell extra bite though considering Randolph recently co-wrote The Big Short, which might be the best film about Wall Street ever produced.
Bombshell opens fire when it is released on Dec. 20 by Lionsgate.
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