Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton & More Find Tom McCarthy's 'Spotlight'
Before director Tom McCarthy decided to take on The Cobbler with Adam Sandler stepping into one of his rare turns of real acting, he was hoping to make the Catholic Church sex scandal film Spotlight, the story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe journalists who exposed the Catholic Church's decades-long cover-up of child molestation in Massachusetts. But DreamWorks pulled out of the film, leaving him with no other option but to pay attention to the indie The Cobbler instead. Now Spotlight is at Participant Media, and The Wrap reports Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton are joining. But they're not the only ones.
Stanley Tucci is also coming on board while Rachel McAdams has an offer for a role, but hasn't started negotiations just yet. In addition, Deadline adds that Liev Schreiber and Aaron Eckhart are also circling roles for the film that is clearly an ensemble drama in the same vein as All the President's Men with a script that McCarthy co-wrote with "The West Wing" writer Josh Singer. Honestly, we could be looking at a major awards contender in the making, which would bring McCarthy even more accolades besides his streak and credibility in the indie world with films like The Station Agent, The Visitor and Win Win.
The title of the film is in reference to the Spotlight Team of reporters at the Boston newspaper who discovered this terrifying citywide conspiracy that was covering sexual child abuse in the religious organization. The team included Boston Globe editor Marty Baron (Schreiber), Spotlight Team editor Walter “Robby” Robinson (Keaton) and special projects editor Ben Bradlee Jr. (we're not sure who's play him yet). Other key investigators who spent a year pouring over documents and interviewing victims of abuse included Michael Rezendes (Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (McAdams) and Matt Carroll, another role that doesn't have a clear name attached just yet.
If you keep up with headlines, then you already know that the conspiracy uncovered the despicable actions of Cardinal Bernard Law, who had hidden years of serial abuse by others in the church by shifting around the guilty priests from one parish to another, letting them roam free to abuse again. Law ended up resigning when the report surfaced, and the revelation of the scandal resulted in the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003. The court case is where Tucci will see action as he's playing attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who achieved national acclaim representing the families of abuse victims.
The film will shoot in Boston and Toronto this fall, and will likely get an awards season release next year. This cast is already outstanding, especially with Keaton reentering the world of journalism after starring in the 1994 film The Paper and on a path to glory again with Birdman looking spectacular. There's something that tells me Keaton and Ruffalo would be a great team, but we don't know how much screentime they'll have together. There's likely some more roles to be filled, so stay tuned for more updates on who else joins this stellar cast. In the meantime, we hope to see The Cobbler at Sundance in January.