Meet the Parents and Trumbo director Jay Roach is making a film about disgraced Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and is enlisting Charlize Theron to portray news anchor Megyn Kelly, one of the women who has accused Ailes of sexual misconduct.
Ailes was the chairman and CEO of Fox News from 1996 until 2016, when he was booted out amid allegations of sexual harassment. Ailes is cited as the man responsible for bringing anchors such as Kelly, Sean Hannity, and Gretchen Carlson to the limelight.
Roger Ailes's Sexual Misconduct Is Getting The Hollywood Treatment
Roach apparently hopes to tell a story that exposes the media storm during the chairman's last days at Fox. Ailes passed away last year.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film's screenplay is being written by Charles Randolph, who won an Academy Award for co-writing The Big Short. Annapurna, which is also producing a Dick Cheney biopic directed by The Big Short director Adam McKay, is financing the Ailes film.
Charlize Theron As Megyn Kelly
No stranger to portraying real-life figures, Theron will have the opportunity to tackle a very timely topic within the film and TV industry — sexual harassment. Kelly, who started as a legal contributor for Brit Hume, quickly rose to the ranks of Fox News and eventually became the host of a nightly show called The Kelly File. It is believed Kelly was pressured to support Ailes when the first round of allegations came hurrying down, but she refused.
Kelly, however, isn't expected to be the sole focus of the film. Instead, the project is described as an ensemble picture, with Ailes and other individuals involved with Fox News during his helm said to be key players in the film. Among the characters likely to be included are Carlson, Greta Van Susteren, Rupert Murdoch, and former host Bill O'Reilly. At the moment, it's unclear which actors will portray these characters.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Roach has garnered acclaim in the last several years for adapting real-life political events into the big screen, such as 2000's Game Change, which focused on Sarah Palin as a political figure. He is reportedly going to direct the TV adaptation of Michael Wolff's highly controversial Trump exposé Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
There's another film about sexual harassment that's also currently in development: a Harvey Weinstein adaptation in the style of Spotlight, which won an Oscar for its unflinching tale of priests sexually harassing little boys.