James Vanderbilt on directing Truth with Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford
As a screenwriter, James Vanderbilt has been responsible for some great movies, some okay movies and yeah, a couple ones that didn’t quite work out–okay, they stunk–but it’s given him quite an interesting filmography, from horror films to action-comedies, as well as being the writer brought on to revamp Marvel Comics’ The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012.
Even so, Vanderbilt is probably best known for writing David Fincher’s Zodiac, and he was probably in that head when he decided to both write and direct Truth, based on CBS News producer Mary Mapes’ novel “Truth and Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power” about the 2004 controversy surrounding Dan Rather’s 60 Minutes report about then-President George W. Bush, claiming that he shirked his military duties without having viable evidence. Truth stars Cate Blanchett as Mapes and Robert Redford as Rather, as it shows Mapes and her team (which includes Topher Grace, Elisabeth Moss and Dennis Quaid) trying to verify evidence that can back up their claims, but instead ending up in the crossfires when some of the documents prove to possibly have been falsified.
Like Zodiac, Vanderbilt’s latest is a thoroughly engaging and analytical look at the process of how television journalists put together stories for the news shows, and Blanchett gives another stellar Oscar-worthy performance as Mapes, showing a powerful strong-willed woman who also has an underlying vulnerability that makes her a target when her political leanings come to the forefront.
ComingSoon.net sat down with Vanderbilt for the video interview below in which we talked about what went into getting Truth made and having the participation of both Mapes and Rather (as well as great actors like Blanchett and Redford). More importantly, we finally go back on our tireless campaign to get a sequel to Dwayne Johnson’s The Rundown made (something I’ve been bothering Peter Berg about for years) by petitioning the original screenwriter of the 2003 action-comedy, which co-starred Seann William Scott and Christopher Walken. (Go check it out and the write to Universal to get this sequel made!)
Truth opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, October 16.