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Martin Scorsese’s Bill Clinton Documentary Stalled, ‘Silence’ Pushed To 2016 Release

Martin Scorsese's Bill Clinton Documentary Stalled, 'Silence' Pushed To 2016 Release

These days, attempting any kind of cinematic narrative about Bill or Hillary Clinton is proving to be tricky. In 2013 alone, CNN and NBC both scrapped potential projects. The former would’ve been a documentary about Mrs. Cilnton directed by Charles H. Ferguson (“Inside Job,” “No End Of Sight“), but the filmmaker claimed he couldn’t find anybody willing to go in front of a camera. “When I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans —and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration. Not even journalists who want access, which can easily be taken away,” Ferguson wrote in piece for Huffington Post. “I even sensed potential difficulty in licensing archival footage from [Pat Robertson’s] CBN and from Fox. After approaching well over a hundred people, only two persons who had ever dealt with Mrs. Clinton would agree to an on-camera interview, and I suspected that even they would back out.” 

Meanwhile, the NBC project, four-hour miniseries also about Mrs. Clinton, with Diane Lane in the lead, was also abandoned, with the network possibly fearing a Republican National Committee vote to ban the network during the 2016 presidential primary debates if the show went forward. And James Ponsoldt‘s proposed feature film “Rodham,” about her early life has also seemed to go quiet. Now it seems not even Martin Scorsese can break the streak of Clinton based projects that suddenly face trouble.

In 2012, it was first announced that Scorsese would be making a documentary for HBO about Mr. Clinton, with the press release noting it would be “made with Clinton’s full cooperation” and “explore his perspectives on history, politics, culture and the world.” But that cooperation has stopped. The New York Times reports that the movie has been halted mid-production. The central problem appears to be Mrs. Clinton’s expected announcement that she will make a White House run in 2016, and how the content of Scorsese’s documentary might help or hurt the campaign, which reportedly led to Mr. Clinton’s team trying to approve interview questions and seeking a final cut. Needless to say, Scorsese didn’t agree. As it stands, the documentary has now been shelved and it may be “years” before it’s finished.

And while that’s a disappointment, Scorsese is jumping right into his next movie, his long brewing project “Silence.” Variety reports that financing is locked into place and production will start on January 30th with Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver in lead roles. There’s just one little extra thing to note: though originally slated for November 2015 awards season ready release, the drama has now been pushed to 2016. Considering Scorsese has been waiting decades to make this movie, we can wait one more year.

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