The Front Runner casts ballot to be the first movie to open on Election Day
The Jason Reitman-directed movie about former Senator Gary Hart’s failed presidential campaign, The Front Runner, is officially opening on Tuesday, November 6th. This makes the political biopic the first movie in history to open on U.S. election day. The film was originally slated to hit theaters on Wednesday, November 7th, but was moved up a day in hopes it will capitalize on the momentum of actual election day.
Hugh Jackman (Logan, Les Misérables) stars in the biopic about former Senator Gary Hart alongside the ensemble cast that includes Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel, Up in the Air), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Mamoudou Athie (The Detour), Josh Brener (Silicon Valley), Kaitlyn Dever (Justified), Tommy Dewey (Justified), Molly Ephraim (Last Man Standing), Spencer Garrett (Thank You for Smoking), Ari Graynor (I’m Dying Up Here), Toby Huss (Halt and Catch Fire), Mike Judge (Beavis & Butthead), Alex Karpovsky (Girls), Mark O’Brian (Halt and Catch Fire), Sara Paxton (Murder in the First), Kevin Pollak (The Usual Suspects) and Steve Zissis (Baghead).
Farmiga will play Lee Hart, the wife of Gary Hart. Simmons will play the campaign manager for Hart in 1988. Athie will play A.J. Parker, a political reporter for The Washington Post who deals with how far into the candidate’s personal life he wants to go. Brener will play Doug Wilson, foreign policy advisor for Hart. Dever will play Andrea Hart, the daughter of Lee and Gary. Dewey will play campaign manager John Emerson. Ephraim will play Irene Kelly, who was the scheduler for Hart. Garrett will play Bob Woodward, reporter for The Washington Post. Graynor will play Ann Devroy, White House correspondent and deputy political editor at The Washington Post. Huss will play Billy Broadhurst, Louisiana lobbyist who invited Hart to party on his yacht, the notorious “Monkey Business.” Judge will play Jim Savage, investigations editor of the Miami Herald, which first broke the story of the Hart/Rice scandal. Karpovsky will play Mike Stratton, advance man for Hart. O’Brien as Billy Shore, Hart’s body man. Paxton will play Donna Rice, the actress Hart had an affair with. Pollak will play Bob Martindale, publisher of the Miami Herald. Zissis plays Tom Fiedler, the Miami Herald reporter who followed up on the scandal.
Hart served as a U.S. Senator from Colorado from 1975 to 1987, but is most famous for his two bids for the presidency in 1984 and 1988. During the latter primary campaign, he was considered the frontrunner, far ahead of eventual candidate Mike Dukakis, but his momentum became hobbled by accusations in the media of an extramarital affair. Hart famously challenged the media to, “Follow me around. I don’t care. I’m serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They’ll be very bored.” The tabloids accepted the challenge, and photographs of Hart with a woman named Donna Rice aboard a yacht brought a swift end to his candidacy.