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Lionsgate In Early Talks to Make Hillary Clinton Biopic 'Rodham' UPDATED

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood December 3, 2013 at 12:09PM

UPDATE: Lionsgate is reportedly in early talks to make the Hillary Clinton biopic "Rodham," with director James Ponsoldt ("The Spectacular Now") at the helm.
Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

UPDATE: Lionsgate is reportedly in early talks to make the Hillary Clinton biopic "Rodham," with director James Ponsoldt ("The Spectacular Now") at the helm. 

The project, from a screenplay by Young-Il Kim that spent some time on the Black List, focuses on Clinton's early life in Washington as a young lawyer on the committee for Nixon's impeachment, as she deals with conflicting feelings for future president and husband Bill Clinton, whose career is diverging from hers.

No lead actress is attached yet, though Ponsoldt met with Carey Mulligan this summer.

EARLIER: While CNN recently announced the cancellation of its Hillary Clinton documentary, and NBC abandoned its planned mini-series starring Diane Lane as Clinton, the third Clinton project, James Ponsoldt's biopic "Rodham," is still in the works

"Rodham," which once had Carey Mulligan rumored for the lead, focuses on Clinton's early days in Washington. Per the NY Times, the most recent pass of the script makes the feature film a considerably more personal project than either the doc or the NBC series would have been; it partly centers on the romance between twentysomething Hillary Rodham and her eventual husband and president, Arkansas-born Bill Clinton. (The script, written by Young Il Kim, spent some time on last year's Blacklist.)

There's been no further word on whether or not Mulligan would star; at the moment none of the cast is locked.

While documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson claimed he was under pressure from both Right and Left not to make the CNN film, and Fox began the downward spiral for the NBC series by pulling its support back in August, the Ponsoldt biopic faces less difficulty, primarily because it's not associated with any news divisions that would cover Clinton. In light of this, the "Rodham" filmmakers have to decide if independent financing or a studio route will be more reliable.

Timing could be with the film, too: If it shoots next year, a 2014 awards season release would be possible. Or a festival run in 2015, by which point we'd know if Clinton is in fact running for the 2016 presidency.

This article is related to: News, James Ponsoldt, Hillary Clinton, News, Lionsgate

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.