Leary, Dern, Hurt also join election drama

Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, Denis Leary, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Ed Begley Jr. and Bob Balaban will star in HBO Films’ “Recount,” the drama about the Florida results in the 2000 presidential election.

Jay Roach is directing a script written by Danny Strong.

“Recount,” which will begin shooting next month in Florida, will air during the heat of the presidential campaign in 2008.

Spacey stars as Ron Klain, former chief of staff to vice president Al Gore and one of the lead attorneys who challenged the voting results in Florida.

Dern plays Katherine Harris, the secretary of state of Florida who became the center of controversy when she certified that George W. Bush had won the state.

Begley plays David Boies, the lawyer who appealed the results and argued for the Democrats in court. Leary plays Michael Whouley, a pollster on the Democrat side, and Hurt plays Warren Christopher, a key player in the Gore camp.

Wilkinson plays James Baker, brought in by the Republicans to see that the disputed results held up. Balaban plays Ben Ginsberg, the lead attorney for Bush and Dick Cheney.

While Harris’ ruling was overturned by Florida’s Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled narrowly in Bush’s favor, giving him the presidency five weeks after Election Day. The film shows the legal and political maneuvering from the point of view of both the Bush and Gore camps.

Pic is produced by Spring Creek and Mirage, in association with Spacey’s Trigger Street Prods. and Roach’s Everyman Pictures. Paula Weinstein, Sydney Pollack, Len Amato and Roach are exec producers. Roach recently replaced Pollack as the director when Pollack stepped down (Daily Variety, Aug. 6).

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