Hugh Jackman is hitting the campaign trail for Jason Reitman’s The Frontrunner.
The Logan star will play politician Gary Hart, who was considered the frontrunner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when his campaign was rocked by revelations of an extramarital affair with Donna Rice. The U.S. senator from Colorado then dropped out of the race.
The screenplay was written by veteran political journalist Matt Bai, former Hillary Clinton press secretary Jay Carson (House of Cards) and Reitman, based on Bai’s 2014 book All the Truth Is Out. It chronicles Hart’s meteoric rise and dramatic fall as he sought the nation’s highest office. Massachusetts Gov. Mike Dukakis, who had been trailing Hart, wound up landing the Democratic nomination. He eventually lost to George Bush. But the Hart story proved to be a turning point in American politics and the media, ushering in the tabloid age where personal indiscretions became fair game. Before Hart, the media turned a blind eye to the infidelities of politicians.
The Frontrunner would mark Reitman’s return to political fare. His first film, Thank You for Smoking (2006), offered a satirical look at Washington lobbyists. The Oscar-nominated director (Juno) is currently in postproduction on the Charlize Theron starrer Tully, which was written by Diablo Cody.
The project also represents a reteaming of Reitman and Bron Studios, which financed Tully. Bron’s recent credits include Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner, Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation and Denzel Washington’s best picture Oscar nominee Fences. The Frontrunner joins an upcoming Bron slate that also includes Dan Gilroy’s Roman Israel, Esq., starring Washington.
Reitman and Helen Estabrook are producing the pic through their Right of Way Films alongside Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert.
Reitman is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman.
Jackman starred in this year’s X-Men solo outing Logan, which was a breakout hit for Fox, earning $618 million worldwide despite its R rating. He will next be seen in The Greatest Showman, playing circus pioneer P.T. Barnum. Jackman is handled by WME and Sloane Offer.
Bai and Carson are repped by CAA, Management 360 and Jackoway Tyerman.
Borys Kit contributed to this report.