Lionsgate had no comment Monday. Annapurna decided on Oct. 9 to back out of the project due to budgetary concerns. Focus Features was considering a move to come on board, but that has not materialized. Bron Studios is expected to co-finance the film.
Despite Annapurna’s withdrawal, the project remains attractive due to its pedigree and an all-star cast that includes Kidman, Theron, John Lithgow, Kate McKinnon, and Margot Robbie. The film is directed by Jay Roach (“Trumbo”) and written by Academy Award winner Charles Randolph (“The Big Short”).
The movie focuses on Ailes’ downfall as seen through the eyes of a group of female employees. Kidman will play Gretchen Carlson, the Fox News anchor who sued Ailes for harassment in 2016, and Theron will portray Megyn Kelly, whose decision to go public with her own story of abuse became a key turning point.
Lithgow will play Ailes and Malcolm McDowell is on board as News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch. Robbie will portray Kayla Pospisil. Allison Janney is also attached.
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Ailes resigned in July 2016, from his posts as Chairman and CEO of Fox News and Fox Television Stations. He died last year. The news about the Lionsgate negotiations was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.