The movie, which Entertainment Studios acquired in advance of its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, recounts the events surrounding a 1969 car accident that killed Mary Jo Kopechne, a young campaign worker for U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy. Kennedy, who was driving the car, waited 10 hours before reporting the accident.
Directed by John Curran from a Black List screenplay by Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan, “Chappaquiddick” stars Clarke as Kennedy and Kate Mara as Kopechne. Ed Helms, Bruce Dern, Jim Gaffigan, Olivia Thirlby, Clancy Brown, and Taylor Nichols also star.
The movie was financed and produced by Apex’s Mark Ciardi and Campbell McInnes. DMG Entertainment’s Chris Fenton is executive producing with Allen and Logan alongside producer Chris Cowles.
Variety’s Owen Gleiberman gave the film a strong review: “As a movie, ‘Chappaquiddick’ doesn’t embellish the incidents it shows us, because it doesn’t have to. It simply delivers the truth of what happened: the logistical truth of the accident, and also the squirmy truth of what went on in Ted Kennedy’s soul. The result may play like avid prose rather than investigative cinema poetry, but it still adds up to a movie that achieves what too few American political dramas do: a reckoning.”
“Chappaquiddick” will open against Disney’s animated “Coco” and STXfilms’ “Molly’s Game.”