After being temporarily homeless in the days immediately leading up to its late-2018 production, Jay Roach’s Roger Ailes expose “Bombshell” not only found a studio home to actually make the film in Lionsgate (Annapurna quite memorably dropped the pricey project before it was set to begin shooting), but also one conducive to what could shape up to be a hell of an awards run. “Bombshell” is another ripped-from-the-headlines drama for Roach, a la his Emmy-winning HBO movies “Recount” and “Game Change,” and early buzz is stellar.
The film features an utterly transformed Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman as real-life figures Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, both of whom accused former Fox CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, while Margot Robbie plays a Fox News worker who is a fictional composite character. John Lithgow stars as Ailes.
“Bombshell” recently celebrated its first official screening in Los Angeles, where it instantly earned Oscar buzz from the crowd, with both Theron’s performance as Kelly and Robbie’s supporting work as an amalgamation of other Fox News women swiftly heralded as awards contenders. (And let’s not forget the makeup wizards who managed to turn Theron into such a close approximation of Kelly that it’s almost impossible to find the actress underneath — she is Kelly.) The film also stars Allison Janney, Kate McKinnon, Malcolm McDowell, Mark Duplass, Alice Eve, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Liv Hewson, and Alanna Ubach.
Per the film’s official logline, “it is a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time; Fox News, and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it.” While the Ailes saga recently spawned another project in the Russell Crowe-starring miniseries “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” Roach’s film more explicitly focuses on the women at the heart of the story.
“We had an obligation to really capture it authentically,” said Roach during a Q&A following the first screening. “One of the things I have done in my other contemporary history films is go deep into actually interviewing real people, not just for authenticity … but also in details you get.”
Lionsgate will release “Bombshell” on Friday, December 20. Check out the film’s newest trailer below.