Rob Ford’s story ended rather tragically, but that doesn’t mean the former Toronto mayor’s tale isn’t one worth telling. At least that’s the thinking from producers who are working on a new drama, Run This Town, which is currently shooting in the Ontario capital.
That’s right – all of Ford’s political mishaps, from smoking crack cocaine to public intoxication are making a comeback on the big screen… roughly two years after his sudden death from a rare form of cancer at the age of 46.
Given the subject matter you’d think a Canadian actor or at least someone kind of resembling Ford would take the leading role, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, it’s Billions and Homeland star Damien Lewis who is heading up the charge.
The English actor could sort of look like Ford with some prosthetics and makeup, we suppose. It’s just hard to get the image of his Billions character, the sleek and poised Bobby Axelrod, out of our heads. According to the article in Kit Magazine that sparked the THR one, Lewis has to have his face and head completely covered in silicon strips and needs to breathe through a small hole near the nose just to make it all work. Talk about commitment.
Anyhow, Run This Town follows the story of a reporter (played by Ben Platt) who works to expose a scandal involving a politician that refuses to play by the rules. For anyone who paid attention to the actual Toronto Star reporting going on at the time, it certainly sounds like this character is based on reporter Robyn Doolittle, who did the same thing. So why make the character a guy? Doolittle certainly didn’t agree with it, if her Twitter posts are any indication.
I’m glad they’re rewriting the fact that it was a female reporter who investigated Rob Ford. Why have a woman be a lead character when a man could do it? Ammaright? https://t.co/Nx3holhuZW
— robyndoolittle (@robyndoolittle) April 10, 2018
It didn’t take long for Platt to set the record straight though, as he also took to Twitter to reveal his character isn’t based on Doolittle or her reporting; it’s actually quite the opposite. He’s since removed his tweet (whether that had to do with an abundance of none-too-happy replies we can’t say). But it read as follows:
“I have the utmost respect for your accomplishments – I play a totally fictionalized character, an entitled, incapable entry-level reporter (my boss is played by Jennifer Ehle) at a fictional competing newspaper. The film alludes to the successful reporting from the Toronto Star.
— Ben Platt (@BenSPLATT) April 10, 2018″
Huh. Switching the entire narrative from a competent woman reporter to a bumbling man. That’s what we call a plot twist, ladies and gents.
Anyhow, rounding out the cast are Canadian Nina Dobrev (who would have made an awesome Robyn Doolittle) and Mena Massoud, who play aides to the Ford character, and Scott Speedman in an as-yet-unconfirmed role. Thanks to Platt’s response above, we also now know Jennifer Ehle is on board as the reporter’s boss.
It’s funny. We knew how wide-reaching Ford’s story was after Jimmy Kimmel developed a fascination with him and had him on his late night show, but these types of Canadian stories aren’t typically picked up by Hollywood tycoons. If everything that went down wasn’t so embarrassing, the attention might actually be cool.
#FordNation for life, we suppose. We’ll be watching this one with a skeptical eye.