For those who don’t know this bit of history, please pay attention – Lest it all happen again: Joe McCarthy was a U.S. Senator who went on a rampage in the late 1940s and early 1950s, destroying countless lives of people whom he accused of being communists and Soviet spies and/or sympathizers. No one was immune from his reckless endeavor to create a modern day Salem Witch Trial and the bodies of his victims, both literal and figurative, were strewn about the Hollywood landscape, the U.S. federal government and universities. It’s a story that’s not told that often anymore and the last time this dark stain on America received any real attention was in George Clooney’s excellent film Good Night, and Good Luck. But make no mistake it was a very real period of time with a heartbreaking amount of collateral damage left in the wake of McCarthy’s so-called investigations. The sobering part of McCarthy’s story was not that he was so intent on his wrecking of lives, but that he enlisted a large contingent of followers who helped in whipping up the flames of avarice and mistrust, all of whom mindlessly picked up on his ques and followed them blindly to the precipice of the abyss.
According to our friends at Variety, Joe McCarthy is about to receive the big screen biopic treatment with some pretty prominent actors set to unpack this man and the tumult he helped to create.
McCarthy will feature acting stalwart and two-time Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) as the infamous Senator in a biopic set to be directed by Vaclav Marhoul from a script by Tom O’Connor. Also enlisting to shed needed light on this story for new generations will be the talented ensemble of Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Scoot McNairy (Argo) and Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines). The story will chronicle the steep rise and fall of McCarthy as well as that of the shifty souls who enabled him, including his politically hungry wife and notorious lawyer Roy Cohn.
HanWay Films is throwing its weight behind McCarthy, handling international sales and distribution. They will also be commencing sales in the American market, with CAA Media Finance overseeing the ultimate U.S. sale.
McCarthy goes into production in the fall of 2022.