One of Washington’s most enduring power couples may soon be elected to a theater near you.
The “Black List,” Hollywood’s unofficial roundup of the hottest unproduced screenplays of the year, was announced Monday, and one of the projects in development is already generating some Clintonian buzz.
Young Il Kim’s script “Rodham,” which placed fourth on the coveted list, has all the makings of a biopic, prequel, love story and courtroom drama all rolled into one. Set during the climax of the Watergate scandal, the story centers on the rising-star attorney Hillary Rodham, the youngest lawyer chosen for the staff of the House Judiciary Committee that approved articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon in 1974.
Rodham’s promising destiny seems all but assured as her career in Washington politics is about to take off. But there’s just one problem: She still has unresolved feelings for her ex-boyfriend, a young Arkansas law professor named Bill Clinton. “Rodham” is based on the true-life events that led up to Clinton’s first run for public office in the 1970s.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the script has already been optioned by Temple Hill Entertainment, the company behind Catherine Hardwicke’s “The Nativity Story.” While an option typically means that a company is just holding onto a project as it gauges investor interest, the additional “Black List” buzz could be just the push this story needs to become a reality. And if the development process takes as long as it usually does, it might make it to theaters just in time to rattle some feathers for the 2016 presidential election. (Karma’s a bitch, Dinesh D’Souza.)
Published every December since 2004, the “Black List” survey is compiled by Franklin Leonard, a former development executive, who asks more than 290 film executives to contribute their 10 favorite unproduced scripts of the year. In order to make the list, a script has to receive at least six mentions from Hollywood development execs. “Rodham” received 39 mentions. This year’s top script, a story about the NFL draft, received 65.
Of course, not all of the scripts on the list will get produced, but IndieWire on Monday took a look at the top 10 scripts from past years and found that a good percentage of them do. Those include Diablo Cody’s “Juno,” Nancy Oliver’s “Lars and the Real Girl” and Aaron Sorkin’s “Charlie Wilson’s War,” among many others. Still others are reportedly making their way through various stages of development hell, including a biopic about the legendary comedian Richard Pryor.
That said, “Rodham’s” chances of getting produced are even higher than average given the frequency with which movies involving presidents make it to the big screen these days. Case in point: Bill Murray’s FDR and Daniel Day-Lewis’ Lincoln may soon be slugging it out for the Oscars. To top it off, “Rodham” centers around a love story between two twenty-somethings, which means the possibilities for A-list, Gen-Y casting are endless.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Bill Clinton? It wouldn’t be the first time he’s had to wear a prosthetic nose.