Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the “RatherGate” film Truth for $6 million at the Cannes Film Festival, reports Deadline.
The film, starring Robert Redford as 60 Minutes anchor Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett as CBS producer Mary Mapes, chronicles the infamous September 2004 incident in which Rather falsely reported that President George W. Bush had received preferential treatment while serving in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.
Mapes was fired and Rather’s reputation took a hit after CBS News failed to verify the authenticity of the documents used for the 60 Minutes report, which aired just two months before the 2004 presidential election. The incident led Rather to famously backtrack, “If I knew then what I know now, I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.”
The film is based on Mapes’ 2005 account Truth and Duty: The Press, The President and the Privilege of Power.
When news of the film first broke, Rather told the Hollywood Reporter that “having the Sundance Kid [Redford] make a film about political and corporate interference of news can only help audiences understand why a truly independent press and strong investigate reporting are so important in a country such as ours.”
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Rather told THR of the film. “Although I have no illusions. Not everybody is going to like the idea that a film is being made. And not everybody is going to like the film, however it turns out.”
James Vanderbilt, who penned The Amazing Spider-Man and White House Down, will adapt the screenplay for Truth and will make his directorial debut, while Brett Ratner is set to produce alongside Black Mass and Lego Movie executive producer James Packer.
Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and Elisabeth Moss also star in the film.
Sony Pictures Classics’ big purchase comes one day after it acquired the North American rights to the critically-acclaimed Holocaust drama Son of Saul from first-time director Laszlo Nemes. Nemes’ film is playing in competition for the festival’s Palme d’Or award.