Where have you gone, Rudy Giuliani?
A new documentary from MRC Non-Fiction and Rolling Stone poses precisely that question, delving into the former New York City mayor’s move from being a beloved 9/11 leader to consigliere and conspiracy-theorist-in-chief to one Donald J. Trump.
The film will be based on Seth Hettena’s 2020 article for Rolling Stone, “What Happened to America’s Mayor?” It’s being directed by Zach Heinzerling, an Oscar nominee for “Cutie & The Boxer,” and Gabrielle Schonder, a two-time Emmy winner whose credits include “The NRA: Under Fire.”
The film follows Giuliani’s downward trajectory, taking viewers from the universal adulation that greeted his response to the attacks of September 11th, to his move into the more fringe parts of the political spectrum. That includes his role trying to get dirt on Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, which led to the Ukraine scandal and Trump’s first impeachment, to his peddling of groundless claims of election fraud, which helped inspire the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and Trump’s second impeachment. It’s unclear if the film will take a detour into Giuliani’s brush with punchline immortality, such as his memorable appearance in “Borat 2” or his bout of intestinal distress during a Michigan voter fraud hearing.
“Rarely has a public figure in America fallen so far so fast in the public eye,” says Jason Fine, Rolling Stone’s director of content development. “As we’ve reported on Rudy’s downfall — his bizarre political maneuvering, shady business dealings, and now, being under criminal investigation by the same U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan that he once ran — we see his story as a parable for the dark forces that have shaped American politics.”
The project is slated for a 2022 release and is produced and financed by MRC Non-Fiction. It will face some competition from a recently announced Giuliani doc courtesy of Campfire Studios and Jed Rothstein, the director of Hulu’s “WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn.”
Heinzerling is repped by UTA. Schonder is repped by ICM.
MRC Non-Fiction’s upcoming films include Edgar Wright’s “The Sparks Brothers” and a Sly Stone documentary from director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.
Variety parent company PMC is a partner with MRC in the P-MRC venture that owns Billboard, Vibe and the Hollywood Reporter.