Sony Buys Hugh Jackman’s Gary Hart Biopic ‘The Front Runner’

Sony Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to Jason Reitman’s “The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman as presidential candidate Gary Hart, along with Vera Farmiga and J.K. Simmons.

Sony said it plans a fall release timed to coincide with award season and election coverage. The announcement was made Thursday by Michael Helfand and Joe Matukewicz, Co-Heads of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, and Aaron L. Gilbert, president and CEO of Bron Studios, which produced and financed the film.

“The Front Runner” chronicles the rise and fall of Hart, a charismatic U.S. Senator from Colorado, who was considered the frontrunner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when his campaign was sidelined by the story of an extramarital relationship with Donna Rice. In what may have been the first merger of tabloid journalism and political journalism, Hart was forced to drop out of the race.

Reitman said, “Having grown up wandering around the Columbia lot as a kid, it is a particular thrill to bring The ‘Front Runner’ back home to the first studio I can remember. I cannot wait for movie goers to see Hugh’s humanist transformation into one of the more complicated political figures of our time.”

Reitman’s first film, “Thank You for Smoking,” was set in the world of Washington, D.C., lobbyists. He was nominated for Academy Awards for directing “Juno” and “Up in the Air.” His comedy-drama “Tully,” which stars Charlize Theron and is written by Diablo Cody, opened last week.

Reitman and Helen Estabrook produced the film through their Right of Way Films banner in partnership with Bron Studios’ Aaron Gilbert, backed by Creative Wealth Media.

Gilbert said, “This often overlooked moment points to the intersection where political journalism and gossip journalism drove into the same lane, and it couldn’t be more timely. We are so proud of this film and the work we’ve been able to do with our partners Jason and Helen.”

The film also stars Mamoudou Athie, Josh Brener, Kaitlyn Dever, Tommy Dewey, Molly Ephraim, Spencer Garrett, Ari Graynor, Toby Huss, Mike Judge, Alex Karpovsky, Mark O’Brien, Sara Paxton, Kevin Pollak, and Steve Zissis. The screenplay was written by veteran political journalist Matt Bai, former Hillary Clinton press secretary Jay Carson, and Reitman, based on Bai’s 2014 book “All the Truth Is Out.”

Endeavor Content and Bloom handled the worldwide sale. Jon Freedberg and Helfand of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions negotiated on behalf of Sony. Anjay Nagpal and Matthew Erramouspe of O’Melveny negotiated on behalf of Bron Studios.

 

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