A Roger Ailes Movie Will Likely Happen—Here’s Who Should Play Him

John Goodman: Anthony Harvey/UPPA/ZUMA ; Roger Ailes: Terry Gatanis/Globe Photos/ZUMA

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Earlier this week, TheWrap published an interview with author and journalist Gabriel Sherman, about The Loudest Voice in the Room, his new, much-discussed unauthorized biography of Fox News president Roger Ailes. The biography has gained attention for its juicy content (such as a producer claiming that Ailes, then at NBC, offered her an extra $100 a week if she agreed to have sex with him whenever he asked), and for being the target of a campaign, by Fox News and others in conservative media, to discredit Sherman’s reporting.

At the end of the Wrap Q&A, reporter L.A. Ross asks Sherman if he has received any offers from studios or production companies about turning his book into a movie. “Well…it’s too early to talk about that, but I think Ailes is an incredibly cinematic character, and would find a natural home on the big screen,” Sherman replied. When pressed further, he simply said, “No comment.”

The idea of a Hollywood epic chronicling the saga of Ailes was intriguing, so I poked around a little: a source with knowledge of the situation says that folks in Hollywood have indeed expressed interest in developing Sherman’s book into a film. (This might go nicely with the Rush Limbaugh movie that John Cusack has supposedly been working on.)

I haven’t been able to get any other details yet, but the prospect of a feature film on the life and work of a figure as towering and powerful as the ultra-conservative Roger Ailes got me thinking. Which actor should play him?

Here are my top suggestions for casting the role of the Fox News chief. If you have better ones, please put them in the comments below.

 

1. John Goodman, who basically already portrayed an Ailes-type character on the third season of NBC’s Community.

John Goodman

David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons

 

2. Paul Giamatti, who has played a cartoonish right-wing villain before.

Paul Giamatti

Justin Hoch/Hudson Union Society

 

3. Jonathan Banks, the Breaking Bad star who’s done a Chuck Norris movie.

Jonathan Banks

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

 

4. Conleth Hill, who plays a eunuch overseeing a large network of informants on HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Conleth Hill

 

5. Anthony Hopkins, who was nominated for an Oscar for portraying President Richard Nixon (for whom Ailes was a paid consultant).

 

6. Rip Torn, who actually blames Ailes’ old boss Nixon for stalling his acting career in the 1970s.

Rip Torn

 Alec Michael/Globe Photos/ZUMA

 

7. Robert Duvall, whose politics line up reasonably well with Ailes’.

 

8. Douglas Urbanski, who played former Treasury secretary Larry Summers in David Fincher’s The Social Network.

Douglas Urbanski

DukeofConDao/YouTube

 

9. Daniel Day-Lewis…just because Daniel DayLewis can play anyone and anything.

Daniel Day-Lewis

 

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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