Liam Neeson to Throat-Punch the Lid Off Watergate in Spy Thriller ‘Felt’
The Watergate scandal has been permanently imprinted in America’s historical memory, making for an instant low point of politics upon the revelation that President Richard Nixon had authorized illegal information-gathering strategies against the Democratic Party. And yet that chapter only came to a close fairly recently; it was in 2005 that reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein key source, the mysterious and gravel-voiced informant codenamed Deep Throat, made his identity known. With Nixon long gone and his own health starting to fail him, a former FBI spook named Mark Felt admitted to cooperating under the Deep Throat moniker.
Earlier this week, industry trade papers reported that Liam Neeson, everyone’s favorite graying (and The Grey-ing) action hero, would play Felt in a new thriller simply titled Felt. The film would provide a retelling of the gripping true story of the Watergate exposure, focusing not on the dogged reporters (as thoroughly covered in the 1976 film All the President’s Men) but instead on Felt, his internal struggle in agreeing to out the most powerful man on Earth as a fraud, and the ruinous toll that his turn as informant took on his family life. Deadline confirmed yesterday that Diane Lane, currently racking up accolades for her performance as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo’s long-suffering wife in Trumbo, has joined the cast to portray Felt’s wife Audrey. Concussion director Peter Landesman has already joined the production at the helm as well.
The Watergate scandal is a screenwriter’s dream come true, with all the drama of the furtive parking-garage meetups, and all the inspiration of the classic “man stands up for what is right, even if it means standing alone” narrative. In a perfect world, Hollywood could keep Neeson employed throat-punching European abductors into perpetuity, but if the man’s going to spend his time doing something else, this sure sounds like a fine diversion.