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CNN Cancels Hillary Clinton Doc, Director Charles Ferguson Steps Down: "Nobody was interested in helping me make this film" UPDATE

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood September 30, 2013 at 11:42AM

UPDATE: CNN Films has decided to cancel its upcoming documentary on Hillary Clinton. The director tied to the project, Charles Ferguson (2011's Oscar-winning "Inside Job"), has stepped down due to mounting political pressures.
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Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

UPDATE: CNN Films has decided to cancel its upcoming documentary on Hillary Clinton. The director tied to the project, Charles Ferguson (2011's Oscar-winning "Inside Job"), has stepped down due to mounting political pressures.

In a blog article for the Huffington Post, Ferguson wrote that the pressure was specifically coming from Clinton aides and supporters, as well as the Republican National Committee (who voted to ban CNN from hosting or sponsoring Republican primary debates following the initial announcement of the doc). Ferguson writes: "Nobody, I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans -- and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons."

As a result, scheduled interviewees began to drop out. A CNN rep told Variety they won't proceed with the film.

EARLIER: CNN has announced it will commission a feature-length documentary on Hillary Clinton, to be directed by Charles Ferguson (2011's Oscar-winning "Inside Job," "No End in Sight"). It joins a slew of other Clinton films in anticipation of the former secretary of state, U.S. Senator and First Lady potentially running for presidential office in 2016. (Clinton met with Obama in the White House behind closed doors Monday.)

A theatrical run for the CNN doc is planned for 2014. Per Variety, it will "take a comprehensive look at the professional and personal life of one of the most powerful women in American politics."

Meanwhile, NBC announced plans July 28 for a miniseries on Clinton, with Diane Lane set to star. It would air prior to Clinton's campaign launch; Clinton hasn't said yet whether she will run for office again, and the announcement might not come until after the 2014 midterm elections.

An indie biopic is also in the works, "Rodham," with James Ponsoldt ("The Spectacular Now") helming. The film focuses on Clinton's early days in Washington; Carey Mulligan has been rumored for the lead.

This article is related to: News, News, Charles Ferguson, Documentary, Documentaries, Hillary Clinton


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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.