Amid Firestorm, Anti-Abortion 'Roe v. Wade' Film Still Seeks Financing
Potential investors worry about "weird fake news" included in the synopsis for the now-shooting film that features prominent conservative actors like Jon Voight, Stacey Dash and Robert Davi.
Actor and producer Nick Loeb’s controversial Roe v. Wade movie is said to be hanging by a thread just a week after its public reveal made waves amid a heated debate over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee pick.
Loeb, who is the anti-abortion film’s co-director and arranged its financing, is now making a last-ditch effort to raise $1 million to finish the movie, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The producer — best known for his ongoing custody battle with former girlfriend Sofia Vergara over frozen embryos — reached out to potential financiers as recently as Tuesday with a plea to pony up money or the incendiary pic may never see the light of day.
One financier who was approached but declined to invest in movie about the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion was turned off by the overt politics of the pitch. “The film reinforces lies that have been told over and over, like Margaret Sanger started Planned Parenthood to kill African-American babies,” says this investor, who declined to be named. "All the weird fake news about abortion is in there. All stuff that is easily debunked."
The film’s budget is said to be roughly $3.5 million, and Loeb raised $2.5 million out of the gate. However, a knowledgeable source says Loeb and his producing partner Cathy Allyn began shooting June 15 without a completion bond — a dangerous move for investors but not entirely uncommon in the indie film space.
THR reported last week that the movie was quietly shooting in and around New Orleans and features some of the most high-profile social conservatives in Hollywood, including Jon Voight and Robert Davi, who play Supreme Court justices, as well as Corbin Bernsen, John Schneider, Steve Guttenberg, William Forsythe, Wade Williams and Richard Portnow.
Stacey Dash, an actress who starred in such films as Clueless before morphing into a conservative commentator, plays Mildred Jefferson, the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School and the former president of National Right to Life.
In the THR article, Loeb said several crewmembers had quit the project in protest of its content, which sparked a deluge of media coverage.
The film’s script is being closely guarded, but a 12-page synopsis is making the rounds. It includes a passage that states: "Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, mentors [abortion movement founder] Larry [Lader], as our audience learns that the organization was created for the purposes of population control — specically [sic], the black population. In a speech to the KKK, Sanger is quoted in saying 'Negros are like weeds that need to be exterminated.'"
Fact-checking site Politifact weighed in on Sanger and racism in 2015, stating that, "While Sanger indeed supported the eugenics movement, substantial evidence shows that she was not racist and in fact worked closely with black leaders and health care professionals." Another independent fact-checking site, Snopes, wrote the same year that, "Sanger once addressed female KKK members in a bid to have her message heard as widely as possible, but she both openly described that meeting and disparaged the group’s mission in her writings.”
Some of the project's budget will be used for special effects. According to the synopsis, "T"e film will employ CGI to show the procedure from the baby’s POV, while it’s [sic] tiny arms and legs are ripped off and head is crushed."
Though one investor passed on the project, he believes that Loeb will find the remaining funds from deep-pocketed members of the pro-life movement, who already are emboldened by a Supreme Court that is expected to tilt away from abortion rights with Justice Anthony Kennedy retiring and President Trump nominating conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh.
For his part, Loeb downplayed that he is scrambling for money. "It hasn’t been challenging since the [THR] article came out," he says. "We are negotiating with several new investors and distributors."