Lionsgate sets release date for Jay Roach’s Roger Ailes biopic
According to Deadline, Lionsgate has set the release date for director Jay Roach’s upcoming and highly anticipated Roger Ailes biopic Fair and Balanced. Led by Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, the film is scheduled to hit the theaters later this year on December 20, 2019. This Fair and Balanced release date is clearly a counter-programming move against the big guns coming out that day, namely Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode IX and Universal’s film adaptation of the musical Cats.
The film is described mostly as an ensemble piece, with the majority of the focus being on former Fox News chief Roger Ailes (John Lithgow, The Crown) and his ultimate downfall that came about after a number of women, including Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron), sued him for harassment. Other characters that will be included in the film are former anchor Greta Van Susteren and former host Bill O’Reilly.
Malcolm McDowell (Star Wars: Rebels), Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad), Allison Janney (I, Tonya) and Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters) also star. Robbie will play a fictional Fox News associate producer, while Janney will portray Susan Estrich, Ailes’ attorney who represented him after multiple workers at Fox News accused him of workplace sexual harassment.
The cast will also include Alice Eve (Replicas), Alanna Ubach (Coco), Elisabeth Rohm, Spencer Garrett, Ashley Greene (The Twilight Saga), Bree Condon and Nazanin Boniadi (Hotel Mumbai) who are all set to portray the roles of Fox News hosts Ainsley Earhardt, Jeanine Pirro, Martha MacCallum, Sean Hannity, Abby Huntsman, Kimberley Guilfoyle and Rudi Bakhtiar, respectively. Emmy award nominated actress Connie Britton has also been cast as Roger Ailes’ wife along with Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2) and Ahna O’Reilly (The Help).
Ailes was fired from Fox News within weeks of Carlson’s suit after several more women came forward with similar allegations of sexual misconduct. Murdoch, who put Ailes in charge of the network in 1996, was one of the news chief’s strongest supporters, though he ultimately made the decision to fire Ailes.
Annapurna is financing and producing the feature, with Lionsgate reportedly close to finalizing distribution. Roach (Game Change) will direct the film, based on the screenplay by Charles Randolph. In addition to starring, Theron will produce the feature along with Beth Kong and AJ Dix via Denver & Delilah. Roach, Randolph, and Margaret Riley are also producing.
(Photo Credits: Getty Images)