Annapurna Has Exited Jay Roach’s Roger Ailes Movie Weeks Before Filming Set To Begin
Jay Roach’s upcoming movie about the downfall of Roger Ailes was set to kick off production in just two weeks. But now Annapurna Pictures, originally set to finance and produce the movie about the late Fox News chairman and accused sexual abuser, has left the project.
Just yesterday, everything was a go for Roach’s untitled Fox news movie about about the late CEO and scumbag who was publicly accused of sexual harassment by 10 women (and privately by at least 20). On Monday, Deadline announced the latest casting addition to the movie, with Malcolm Gladwell joining the already star-studded project to play Rupert Murdoch. The film, written by The Big Short Oscar-winning screenwriter Charles Randolph, is also set to star John Lithgow as Ailes, Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, Margot Robbie as a fictional Fox News associate producer named Kayla Pospisil, and Allison Janney as a lawyer Susan Estrich who represented Ailes.
But now, just weeks before filming was to begin, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Megan Ellison’s production company has parted ways with film. It’s a bit surprising, considering a timely story and glossy project like this seems like a perfect fit for Ellison’s company. The reasons for the departure are unknown, but THR notes it may be due to budget issues, reporting that the cost ballooned over budget to $35 million. Now Bron Studios has joined to produce and co-finance the movie, while a trio of others are being considered to replace Annapurna, including Amblin, Focus Features, and Participant Media. According to Deadline, the film also now has a working title: Fair and Balanced.
Hopefully this doesn’t mean the project is dead in the water or delayed for too long; a movie about the toxic and sexist culture inside Fox News, and one so focused on the women who came forward – not to mention, with an amazing female cast like this! – is the type of project that needs to be made right now. Hopefully someone scoops it up soon.