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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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