Oscar Bait: Robert Redford to play Dan Rather in film about 2004 ‘Rathergate’ scandal

07.09.14 4 years ago 6 Comments

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Robert Redford isn't messing around with this Oscar business.

After losing out on a nomination for his acclaimed, nearly dialogue-free performance in last year's “All Is Lost,” the legendary actor is making another go at Academy consideration (at least in theory) as the star of “Truth,” in which he'll play former CBS news anchor Dan Rather during the career-derailing 2004 “Rathergate” scandal, according to Deadline.

Starring opposite Redford will be Cate Blanchett as Peabody Award-winning “60 Minutes” producer Mary Mapes, who was fired from the program after it was discovered that a series of documents alleged to prove that then-President George W. Bush had been given preferential treatment while serving in the Texas Air National Guard had not been properly authenticated prior to airing on sister program “60 Minutes II.” Though Rather continued on with the network until 2006, his career and reputation suffered irreparable damage from the scandal, leading to a $70 million lawsuit filed in 2007 by the anchor against CBS and parent company Viacom that was later dismissed by New York's Court of Appeals.

Based on Mapes' 2005 memoir “Truth And Duty: The Press, The President, And The Privilege Of Power,” the film will be directed by first-time helmer James Vanderbilt, the screenwriter behind such films as “Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2,” “White House Down” and David Fincher's “Zodiac.”

If Redford were to receive an Academy Award nomination for the film – a big leap considering the project is just now getting underway – it would be only his second nod as an actor, with his first coming over 40 years ago for 1973's “The Sting.” As a director, he previously took home an Oscar for helming the 1981 Best Picture winner “Ordinary People” and also received a pair of nominations for directing and producing 1994's “Quiz Show.” In 2002 he was awarded an honorary Oscar for his contributions to the film business.

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