Returning to the hallowed halls of muckraking journalism is “All the President’s Men” star Robert Redford, who plans to play Dan Rather, the former CBS newsman whose sterling reputation was, in 2004, forever tainted by a scandal concerning then-President George W. Bush‘s Air Force records. Nearly ten years after these events rocked the news industry, they’re to become the basis of the film “Truth.”
This doesn’t mean he’ll be front and center. As envisioned by writer-turned-director James Vanderbilt (“Zodiac,” “White House Down”), the picture adapts former CBS producer Mary Mapes‘s memoir, “Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power,” and her position will be filled by Cate Blanchett. Closer to a two-hander, perhaps: the original text chronicled Mapes and Rather’s supposed uncovering of documents alleging that Bush, then a Yale student — and, as always, son of a powerful political figure — was to be put at the top of the list for the Texas Air National Guard, thus allowing him to avoid service in Vietnam. Subsequent investigations determined that both were working from false documentation, leading to both a firing and public humiliation.
Cable TV has done well with such behind-closed-doors skullduggery, from “Game Change” and “Too Big to Fail” to doc “The War Room.” Michael Mann’s “The Insider” took a look at “60 Minutes.” A fall start is eyed.