Will Sean Penn Play a Fair Game with Doug Liman?
by Alex Billington
February 23, 2009
The first major project that has Sean Penn attached since he won the Oscar is Fair Game, an adaptation of Valerie Plame Wilson's autobiographical novel about her outing as a CIA agent. Originally this was setup at Warner Brothers, and we announced last year that Nicole Kidman was going to star, but she has since been replaced by Naomi Watts. Additionally, Warner Brothers has since dropped the project and now William Pohlad's River Road will be financing instead. The only bad news is that we're not sure Penn will actually join in the end or not, because he hasn't signed any deal, even though this has hit Variety.
The adaptation is being directed by Doug Liman, director of The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Jumper most recently, who said last year that he has a "really, really insane take on how to tell [the story]." Penn would play Ambassador Joseph Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame, who watched Valerie's CIA status become compromised after he wrote opinionated columns that accused the Bush Administration of manipulating intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq. It sounds like an interesting project, and with Penn and Watts on board as the two leads, it has a lot of potential.
The only problem is that I'm just not sure whether anyone cares about political movies anymore. Recent political movies like Breach, The Good Shepard, Lions for Lambs, and Rendition have all been considered high profile mainstream projects, but none of them have been very memorable. Then again, maybe there is a place for them, they're just not meant to be big hitters. The story in Fair Game isn't bad, but reading about it isn't that appealing. And above all else, I'm not sure how Liman will make it that entertaining. I just really hope he delivers something as "insane" as he's promising and that he gets Penn on board as well.