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Golden Globes: Pay TV Dominant With ‘Girls’, ‘Homeland’ And ‘Game Change’ Wins

By | Sunday January 13, 2013 @ 10:41pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

The Golden Globes displayed a split personality on the TV side, going for repeat winners in the drama and longform categories and fresh honorees in comedy. But overall, the night was dominated completely by HBO and Showtime which won all but two TV awards, led by Showtime’s drama Homeland with three, including best drama series; HBO’s Girls with two, including best comedy series; and HBO’s Game Change also with three, including best TV movie/miniseries.

Related: Golden Globes: TV Scorecard

After being largely snubbed at the Emmys, HBO’s Girls had its awards coming-out party tonight, winning both categories it was nominated in: best comedy series and best comedy actress for creator/star Lena Dunham. There have been a lot of parallels drawn between Girls and HBO’s previous edgy comedy about a quartet of single women in New York, Sex And The City. With its double win tonight, Girls is following in the footsteps of Sex And The City, a Hollywood Foreign Press Association darling which won for best comedy series and best comedy actress (Sarah Jessica Parker) an unprecedented three consecutive years. Also getting a first Golden Globe after an Emmy nomination last year was Don Cheadle, star of Showtime’s comedy series House Of Lies. Both Girls and House Of Lies celebrated their wins just as their second seasons kicked off — with the season premieres airing against the Golden Globes.  Read More »

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Golden Globes TV: ‘Homeland’ Tops; ‘Girls’, ‘Newsroom’, ‘Smash’, ‘Nashville’ & ‘Political Animals’ Make Entrance; ‘Mad Men’ Snubbed

By | Thursday December 13, 2012 @ 8:35am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Once again, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was far more receptive to new series than the Screen Actors Guild, with a slew of freshmen, including HBO’s Girls, The Newsroom and Veep, NBC’s Smash, ABC’s Nashville, Showtime’s House Of Lies, USA’s Political Animals and Starz’s Magic City landing Golden Globe Award nominations this morning.

Related: 70th Golden Globe Awards Nominations

And once again, pay cable dominated, with HBO (17 nominations) and Showtime (7) finishing as No. 1-No. 2 in the network rankings for a second consecutive year. The two networks also landed the most series noms, 7 each. Showtime’s Homeland was the most nominated series with four noms: for best series, best actor (Damian Lewis), actress (Claire Danes) and a welcome surprise, a first major awards nomination for co-star Mandy Patinkin in the supporting category. (HBO movie Game Change was the most nominated program overall with 5 noms.)

Both top series categories were fluid, with only two returning nominees in both. On the drama side, those were the best drama series winners from the past two years — Showtime’s Homeland and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire — joined by Breaking Bad, landing its long-overdue first best series nomination; PBS’ Downton Abbey, which made a successful transition from the movie/miniseries category, which it won in January, to series; and HBO’s The Newsroom. For Aaron Sorkin’s cable news drama, which also got a nom for star Jeff Daniels, this is the biggest awards recognition so far after landing a nom for Daniels at the SAG Awards. The biggest surprise in the category was the omission of AMC’s Mad Men, which failed to make the best drama category for the first time (it won in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and sat out the last Golden Globes because of a large gap between seasons.) Also out was last year’s nominee Game Of Thrones. Read More »

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HBO Options ‘Game Change’ Sequel Book On 2012 Presidential Race

By | Tuesday December 11, 2012 @ 5:52pm PST

Expect to see the real story of the election of 2012 on HBO around the time of the election of 2016. The network confirmed today that they have optioned the rights to Double Down: Game Change 2012 from journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. The as yet-unwritten book is expected out for the fall of 2013 according to publisher Penguin Press, who announced the book and the HBO option Tuesday. Halperin and Heilemann’s behind-the-scenes 2010 book on the 2008 Presidential election Game Change: Obama And The Clintons, McCain And Palin, And The Race Of A Lifetime was a number one bestseller and the basis for a 2012 HBO movie. Directed by Jay Roach and starring Julianne Moore as Alaska Governor and GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin and Ed Harris as Sen. John McCain, Game Change debuted on HBO on March 10 of this year. Game Change won four Emmys this year including best miniseries or TV movie, a best directing win for Roach and an outstanding actress in a miniseries or TV movie for Moore. Halperin and Heilemann are repped by Andrew Wylie at The Wylie Agency.

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Danny Strong Close To Deal To Pen ‘Hunger Games’ Finale ‘Mockingjay’

By | Monday October 1, 2012 @ 3:10pm PDT

Danny Strong Mockingjay Movie ScreenwriterThere is no deal in place for him to write Lionsgate‘s two-part finale to The Hunger Games, but we’re hearing it’s likely to happen. The Game Change scribe is coming off a big Emmys, where the HBO movie swept the longform categories including winning for his script about Sarah Palin and the 2008 presidential race.  Mockingjay is the third in the Suzanne Collins book trilogy and is being split into two movies a la Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. The second movie in the franchise, Catching Fire, is due out November 23, 2013, while Mockingjay has been dated for November 21, 2014 (Part I) and November 20, 2015 (Part II). The first film in the series bowed in March and has grossed $685 million worldwide.

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2012 Primetime Emmys: Politics Hot Topic With Winning Shows & Backstage Insights

By | Sunday September 23, 2012 @ 9:04pm PDT

In an election year, political shows were big winners at an Emmys ceremony that featured plenty of comments onstage and backstage. HBO’s 2008 election drama Game Change and Showtime’s Washington spy thriller series Homeland swept the longform and drama series categories, respectively. Game Change, about Sarah Palin’s Vice Presidential run, won four Emmys including best miniseries or TV movie, while newcomer Homeland denied Mad Men a historical fifth consecutive win by garnering outstanding drama series. “This isn’t as much about Sarah Palin as the political process,” said Game Change’s Julianne Moore backstage after her outstanding actress in a miniseries or TV movie win for portraying Palin. “In an election year, this was an examination of how we pick our leaders. That to me was what was so compelling about this film.”

Related: Nikki Finke: Live-Snarking The 64th Emmys Read More »

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Emmys: Writing Nominees Are Honored At The TV Academy

Pete Hammond

If they don’t always get all the credit they deserve or a lot of time  on the Emmy show itself, this year’s nominated writers in five different categories got a lot of love and all the time they wanted to make a speech while accepting official certificates of nomination at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Thursday night.

Writing Governors Kirk Ellis and Margaret Nagle along with The Writers branch Peer Group Executive Committee threw a lively and loose pre-Emmy celebration of all things written for TV this year with a very well-attended cocktail party (nicely coordinated by the Academy’s Barbara Chase) plus formal presentation in the Academy’s massive Leonard Goldenson Theatre hosted by Breaking Bad’s 3-time Emmy winner and 2012 nominee Bryan Cranston. Clips of all the nominated achievements were shown followed by a ceremony in which stars of those shows gave Emmy certificates to their writers.

“Everybody says it all starts with a script but in this hall we really believe that,”  said Ellis in getting the evening rolling.  Then in introducing Cranston, Nagle pointed out the close relationship between actors and their writers by saying, “In interview after interview he always states his admiration for writers and he means it”.  Pointedly referencing Clint Eastwood’s rambling, improvised appearance at the GOP convention Cranston entered carrying an empty chair which he put beside the podium. “Was there ever Read More »

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EMMYS: Julianne Moore On ‘Game Change’

By | Tuesday June 26, 2012 @ 1:00am PDT

She’s considered one of the finest film actresses of this or any generation. Julianne Moore has garnered four Oscar nominations for such disparate roles in Boogie Nights, The End Of The Affair and in 2002 pulled off the rare feat of two nominations in both leading and supporting categories for Far From Heaven and TheBoardwalk Empire Hours. It seems only a matter of time before she finally nabs the Oscar itself  because Moore is deeply admired by her fellow actors as someone not afraid to take risks and go into dark places. This year she took another risk, not only diving into a TV film, albeit HBO but taking one of the most iconic, polarizing  and most recognizable  political figures of our time,  former vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the movie version of the best-selling book about that 2008 campaign, Game Change. Due to the uncanny portrayal by Moore she has catapulted herself  into the Emmy race. But it wouldn’t be her first. She started in TV soaps in the mid-80’s and won a Daytime Emmy for As The World Turns in 1988. Make no mistake, this year Moore is definitely ready to move up to the Primetime contest. I recently talked to her about the challenge of taking on Palin.

Related: EMMYS: Jay Roach On ‘Game Change’

PERFECTING PALIN: “This was extremely different (playing a real person who is still alive).  I mean, the people that I have played before have been deceased and not very well known.  They were not certainly well known, public figures.  This is somebody who is very, very much present in our lives, even now, so we didn’t even have a grace period of playing, even 10 years. There was no point at which she has faded from public view…So the responsibility to be accurate was really high.  So, the first thing I did was call a vocal coach.  And cleared my schedule of everything else I was doing because we only had two months to prep too. I wanted to devote as much time as I could to doing the research.  The great thing today is that everything is available.  Everything is on YouTube.  Literally everything (Sarah Palin) ever did during the (2008) campaign have been documented.  Because we were working specifically on that time period, those months leading up to the election, between her nomination and the concession speech.  That was what I focused on looking at.  So I looked at all of her appearances, all of the convention speeches, all of the press appearance, all of the debates and, listened to it over and over. Put it on my iPod, worked with my vocal coach and just did it.  My kids made fun of me: I had nothing else on my iPod except for Sarah Palin. [laughter] Literally, I took all the music off so I would never ever be tempted to listen to anything else.”

Related: EMMYS: Movie & Minseries Odds – ENTV Video Read More »

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EMMYS: Jay Roach On ‘Game Change’

By | Monday June 25, 2012 @ 7:34pm PDT

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

Boardwalk EmpireJay Roach’s political movies span the spectrum: not from conservative to liberal, but from drama to comedy.  Likely to be nominated at Emmy time is HBO’s Game Change, the story of Sarah Palin’s vice presidential nomination, written by Danny Strong, based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Roach also collaborated with Strong on HBO’s Emmy-winning Recount, about the 2000 presidential race.  But Roach is casting a vote for comedy with his August 10 feature The Campaign, with funnymen Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as two Southerners vying for a seat in Congress. He’s also developing a Watergate film based on the memoirs of the real Deep Throat, former FBI agent Mark Felt.

AWARDSLINE: For a series, an Emmy can save a bubble show from cancellation. What does Emmy mean to a made-for-TV movie?
JAY ROACH: Getting noticed by the Emmys for a TV movie is an even bigger deal. Series are up and running continuously, but a TV movie hits once and runs a few times and unless it gets noticed, it gets forgotten. On Recount the awards attention was very, very good for that film, people discovered it later down the line.

Related: EMMYS: Julianne Moore On ‘Game Change’

AWARDSLINE:  It seems like TV is virtually the only place to see films about political subjects.
ROACH: There was a time in the ’70s when studios were making more movies that had more of a political point of view, The Candidate (1972), All the President’s Men (1976). It doesn’t seem very easy these days to set up these kinds of movies in the feature world. But I did talk about this story back during the campaign, even with a couple of studio people, before HBO bought the book. Even before I heard about the book, I was trying to convince people that being in the room where they made these decisions would be a really compelling film. Read More »

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EMMYS: Movie/Miniseries Overview

Game Change  is more than just the name of the polarizing HBO picture that’s the frontrunner to take home the 2012 Emmy in the now-merged movie/miniseries category, it’s also the underlying theme of the whole race.

Boardwalk EmpireUntil last year when PBS’ Downton Abbey pulled off an upset, HBO projects had taken the gold for nearly a decade. Suddenly, it seemed like anything could happen — and, suddenly, it did. Downton’s move to the drama series category makes the movie/mini derby an HBO-vs.-PBS free-for-all.

Thanks to Game Change — as well as the marquee value of Hemingway & Gellhorn — the cable network would appear to have the edge. But there’s a growing sentiment that no potential nominee or winner is more deserving than PBS’ Sherlock. For now, however, whether that stellar underdog will score a nod, much less a win, remains a mystery. Another potential spoiler: FX’s rookie anthology American Horror Story. And with its record-shattering ratings, along with A-level stars in Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton, History’s Hatfields & McCoys solidified its Emmy chances.

Related: EMMYS: AwardsLine’s Pre-Nom Profiles Read More »

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Sarah Palin: Oprah Winfrey Should “Get Some Conservatives” On OWN

By | Tuesday April 3, 2012 @ 5:58am PDT

The former GOP VP candidate tore into Hollywood — including comedian Bill Maher and HBO’s movie about the 2008 presidential campaign, Game Change — but showed some affection for Oprah Winfrey and Tina Fey on the Today Show’s “Today’s Professionals” panel discussion segment this morning. Asked about Winfrey’s admission yesterday that she failed to appreciate how hard it would be to launch her struggling OWN network, Palin said “more power to Oprah for getting out there, showing the guts, showing the grit that it takes to succeed. ….She is representing what makes America great. You have opportunity to succeed and to fail and to keep trying again.” Palin didn’t raise her hand when host Matt Lauer asked panel members to do so if they thought that Winfrey would be able to fix OWN. But she added that she thinks the channel is “going to be around. She should get some conservatives on the show, some patriots.” Read More »

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Sarah Palin Film ‘Game Change’ Gets HBO’s Biggest Original Movie Ratings In 8 Years

By | Tuesday March 13, 2012 @ 8:21am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Sarah Palin Game ChangeAfter a massive promotional campaign and a dash of controversy, HBO’s Game Change premiered with an average of 2.1 million viewers at 9 PM on Saturday to become the network’s most watched original film in almost 8 years, since the 2004 Something The Lord Made (2.6 million). The movie about John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and the meteoric rise of Sarah Palin from a little known Alaska Governor to super-star Republican running mate, doubled the premiere audience of the previous HBO movie from the same writer (Danny Strong) and director (Jay Roach), Recount, which chronicled events surrounding the 2000 presidential elections. It also outperformed the opening nights of recent HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce (1.3 million), Generation Kill (1 million) and John Adams (1.8 million). For the weekend, Game Change averaged 3.6 million viewers over multiple plays. The movie has been met with criticism by Palin and aids for the McCain-Palin ticket, with the former Alaska governor calling it “Hollywood lies.”

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‘Game Change’ Scribe Danny Strong To Adapt ‘The Lost Symbol’ For Sony Pictures

By | Thursday March 1, 2012 @ 3:00pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Danny Strong, who wrote the Jay Roach-directed HBO films Recount and the upcoming Sarah Palin pic Game Change, is stepping up to features. Sony Pictures has set him to write The Lost Symbol, Sony’s third installment of the Dan Brown-penned thrillers focusing on symbologist Robert Langdon. The expectation is that the film will be directed by Mark Romanek after Ron Howard opted out of directing the third film, with Howard producing with Imagine partner Brian Grazer after he helmed the blockbusters The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. Grazer produced the first two films in the series with the late John Calley.

Strong comes in after Brown had a hand in writing a script as did Steven Knight. The project is a priority for the studio. The Da Vinci Code grossed $758 million worldwide in 2006, and while Angels & Demons dropped off to a $486 million worldwide gross in 2009, that is still a big box office haul. Tom Hanks, who played Langdon in the first two thrillers, is expected to reprise, but no commitment has been made at this point. Hanks is starring for Sony Pictures in A Captain’s Duty, playing heroic captain Richard Phillips in the Somali pirate drama that will be directed by Paul Greengrass. Strong is repped by CAA.

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Hot Trailer: HBO’s ‘Game Change’

By | Tuesday January 31, 2012 @ 9:14pm PST

HBO has released a full-length trailer for director Jay Roach’s Game Change with Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, Ed Harris as John McCain and Woody Harrelson as McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt. Screenplay by Danny Strong, based on the book by John Heilman and Mark Halperin. It debuts March 10th.

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Sarah Palin Turned Down Offer To Cooperate On HBO’s ‘Game Change’, Director Says

By | Friday January 13, 2012 @ 2:52pm PST

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Julianne Moore, Sarah Palin, Game ChangeAt today’s TCA panel on HBO’s movie Game Change, director/executive producer Jay Roach said he tried to get Sarah Palin’s cooperation for the film about the 2008 presidential election, which is based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. “On behalf of the (film), I wrote a long letter explaining that I thought it would ‑‑ we would just do better at getting the story right if she would talk to us,” said Roach, also the director of HBO’s Recount, about the 2000 presidential race. “And I got a very quick email back from her attorney saying, ‘I checked.  She declines.’  So I took that as, you know, the final answer.” Still, Game Change writer Danny Strong (who also penned Recount) said he was able to interview 25 people connected with the 2008 campaign. He did not get John McCain or his speechwriter Mark Salter but said, “I got everybody else, including people who are not portrayed in the film.”

Strong called Game Change nonpartisan and added that Republican politicians were very receptive to Recount (“James Baker threw us a premiere,” he said). Although the book covers on the entire campaign, including much material on the Obamas, the movie focuses on the McCain-Palin ticket and particularly on the Vice President candidate. Strong and Roach said the choice made sense for the movie because Palin’s rise from political obscurity … Read More »

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UPDATE: Premiere Dates For HBO’s ‘Girls,’ ‘Game Of Thrones’, ‘Veep’ & ‘Game Change’

By | Friday January 13, 2012 @ 9:05am PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE, FRIDAY AM: HBO on Friday morning also announced premiere dates for Season 2 of fantasy series Game Of Thrones, which will kick off Sunday, April 1, and Lena Dunham’s new comedy series Girls, executive produced by Judd Apatow, which will debut April 15.

PREVIOUS, THURSDAY PM: HBO’s film Game Change, about the 2008 Republican presidential ticket of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) and Sen. John McCain (Ed Harris), will premiere \March 10, the day of four GOP primaries including Kansas. The network’s new comedy Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the U.S. Vice President, will debut April 22. Game Change and Veep are among six upcoming projects that will be showcased during HBO’s portion of TCA tomorrow, with a talent roster of A-listers slated to attend: Judd Apatow, Ricky Gervais, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Mann, Nicole Kidman, Clive Owen, Moore, Harris, Woody Harrelson and Louis-Dreyfus.

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TV TEASER: Julianne Moore As Sarah Palin In HBO Film ‘Game Change’

By | Wednesday December 21, 2011 @ 3:23pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

HBO has released the first teaser for its upcoming film Game Change, which follows John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign from his selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate to their ultimate defeat in the general election. The trailer showcases Julianne Moore as Palin, Ed Harris as McCain and Woody Harrelson as McCain adviser Steve Schmidt as they search for a vice presidential candidate that would help thwart Barack Obama’s momentum — and culminates with the big coming-out party for Palin at the Republican National Convention. Game Change, produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone, directed by Jay Roach and written by Danny Strong, premieres in March. The movie will not be as controversial as it would’ve been had Palin decided to run for president next year.

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Sarah Paulson And Peter MacNicol Join HBO’s Palin-McCain Movie ‘Game Change’, Julianne Moore As Sarah Palin Unveiled

By | Wednesday April 27, 2011 @ 10:35am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Paulson and Peter MacNicol are set to co-star in the HBO film Game Change, produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone. The movie, directed by Jay Roach and written by Danny Strong, follows John McCain’s (Ed Harris) 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) as his running mate to their ultimate defeat in the general election. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip alumna Paulson will play McCain’s senior campaign adviser Nicolle Wallace, described as attractive, wholesome, California-bred, smart, focused and an ambitious political writer and communications chief who worked for Jeb Bush and then McCain. Ally McBeal alum MacNicol will play McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis, who oversaw the development and implementation of all campaign strategy and policy development.  Also cast in the film is Justin Gaston as Levi Johnston, who fathered the baby of Palin’s teenage daughter Bristol (Melissa Farman). ICM-repped Paulson stars in Kari Lizer’s comedy pilot for NBC as well as in the Sundance film Martha Marcy May Marlene, which has been picked up by Fox Searchlight for a release later this year and is now heading to Cannes. Emmy winner MacNicol has been recurring on Grey’s Anatomy. Gaston, repped by CAA and the Hofflund Co., next co-stars in the indie The Escapee. Read More »

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TV CASTINGS: Ron Livingston Joins ‘Game Change,’ Kelli Giddish Boards ‘Good Wife’

By | Monday April 25, 2011 @ 11:44am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: A decade after his standout performance in HBO’s miniseries Band of Brothers, Ron Livingston is back at the pay cable network with a co-starring role in the film Game Change, produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone. The movie, directed by Jay Roach, follows John McCain’s (Ed Harris) 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) as his running mate to their ultimate defeat in the general election. Livingston, repped by UTA and Thruline, will play Mark Wallace, a senior adviser to McCain-Palin 2008. He led the debate-preparation team for Gov. Palin, who ended up exceeding expectations in her face-off with Joe Biden.

Kelli Giddish, star of NBC/Jerry Bruckheimer’s freshman action drama Chase, is changing the pace with an arc on CBS’ praised legal drama The Good Wife. Giddish will appear in the last two episodes of the season playing what is described as a provocative role — an investigator for Lockhart Gardner who used to work with Kalinda (Archie Panjabi). There is a possibility for Giddish, repped by Paradigm and Invictus, to return in the fall, though The Good Wifeis yet to be officially renewed, so the show’s producers have not started working on storylines for Season 3.

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Woody Harrelson Joins HBO’s Sarah Palin/John McCain Movie ‘Game Change’

By | Friday March 25, 2011 @ 11:09am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Woody Harrelson has joined Julianne Moore and Ed Harris in HBO Films’ Game Change, produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone. The movie, directed by Jay Roach, follows John McCain’s (Harris) 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (Moore) as his running mate to their ultimate defeat in the general election. Harrelson will play Steve Schmidt, McCain’s senior campaign strategist and adviser.

Based on the bestselling book Game Change, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, the film is directed by Roach and written by Danny Strong, whose previous collaboration was HBO’s Recount, about the 2000 Florida recount. Playtone is producing in association with Roach’s Everyman Pictures, with Hanks, Goetzman and Roach executive producing. Strong serves as co-executive producer.

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