Having helped dramatize the Watergate scandal in All the President’s Men, Robert Redford will also bring the so-called “Rathergate” scandal to life in a new movie. Redford is attached to play Dan Rather in Truth, about the controversy that marred the end of the newscaster’s network career.
He’ll be joined by Cate Blanchett, who’ll play Rather’s former producer Mary Mapes. The memoir penned by the real-life Mapes, Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and the Privilege of Power, serves as the film’s source material. The film marks screenwriter James Vanderbilt‘s directorial debut. Hit the jump for more details.
Deadline reported the news. It’s a big step for Vanderbilt, who’s built up a reputation as a top-shelf screenwriter. His credits include Zodiac, White House Down, both Amazing Spider-Man movies, and the upcoming Independence Day sequel.
“Rathergate” began when Rather and Mapes came into documents indicating that then-president George W. Bush had never fulfilled his service requirements to the Texas Air National Guard. Shortly after they ran a report about the incriminating documents in 2004, their authenticity was called into question.
CBS and Rather initially stood by their segment. However, the network eventually apologized and Rather stated that “if I knew then what I know now – I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.”
Ultimately, the scandal led to the departures of four CBS employees including Mapes. Rather’s once-sterling reputation was permanently tarnished, and he resigned shortly afterward. Both Mapes and Rather have continued to insist that there is no evidence the documents were faked.
Although Truth will cover one of the darker moments in Rather’s career, the legendary newsman stated that he was “cautiously optimistic” about the movie.
I want to emphasize that I’m no expert in the movie business. What I know about the movie business could be written on the back of a postage stamp. But I at least know enough to recognize that having the Sundance Kid make a film about political and corporate interference of news can only help audiences understand why a truly independent press and strong investigative reporting are so important in a country such as ours.
He has more faith in truth-telling than most people in Hollywood. In no small part because of that I’m of course pleased and honored that he’s agreed to take on the challenge of trying to make a film about political and corporate interference with truth-telling investigative journalism.
Rather also added that he’d be “happy” to help Redford if he could.
Truth doesn’t yet have a studio, let alone a release date, but it shouldn’t be too long before it finds a home. Vanderbilt is looking to shoot this fall.