The scandal involving disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein is finally being made into a film.
On 6 October 2017, investigative reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published their rigorous investigation about the sexual assault allegations against Weinstein in the New York Times.
This triggered over 100 women - including the likes of Ashley Judd, Cara Delevingne and Rose McGowan - to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, settlements were agreed and global movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp, have catalysed a seismic cultural shift.
Weinstein denies all claims of non-consensual sex, maintaining his innocence and describing allegations against him as 'false'.
In March 2020, Weinstein was found sentenced to 23 years in prison following his conviction for committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third degree rape. He is currently serving his sentence at a prison in New York. In April 2021, his lawyers lodged an appeal over his conviction. Weinstein is also facing further criminal charges in the city of Los Angeles.
While the legal battles, continue there have been mounting rumours for almost two years that a film about the Harvey Weinstein scandal is on the horizon. Now, in May 2021, we finally know more about what's sure to be a must-watch movie.
Who will star in the film?
On May 7, Deadline reported that the biopic has found its lead actors to play Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey in Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan.
The two actors, who are also longtime friends, are reportedly in final talks with Universal for the movie.
The film will be the second successive movie for Mulligan exploring themes of sexual assault, consent and holding male perpetrators of sexual violence to account. Earlier this year, the British actor was nominated for an Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe for her portrayal of Cassie, a woman avowing her friend's death, in Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman.
Kantor seemingly confirmed the news on social media too, sharing a screengrab of the Deadline article and writing: 'So thrilled to share that the SHE SAID film is preparing for production. It’s about the power generated by just a tiny group of courageous women and sources stepping forward. The propulsive energy of the newsroom (spoiler alert, @mega2e and I are far from the only @nytimes journalists portrayed.) And the joy and satisfaction of female teamwork. Thank you to the incredible team making this, and to @zoe.kazan and Carey Mulligan, real-life friends and longtime collaborators'
Who is producing the film?
Plan B, the production company that backed Oscar-winning films Moonlight and 12 Years a Slave, reportedly shares the rights of the film with Annapurna Pictures.
Plan B was co-founded in 2001 by Brad Grey, Jennifer Aniston and her then husband Brad Pitt. The latter went onto take ownership of the company in 2005.
In May 2021, it was confirmed that Pitt and Plan B will produce the upcoming movie, according to Entertainment Tonight.
The choice of film for the production firm is poignant given that Pitt confronted Weinstein after he allegedly tried to force the actor's ex-girlfriend, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, to give him a massage in his hotel suite in 1994.
In an interview with CNN earlier this year, the Money Ball actor spoke about his confrontation with the film producer and said: 'I just wanted to make sure nothing was going to happen further because she was going to do two films [with Weinstein].'
Does the film have a title?
Yes. The film's title is taken from Kantor and Twohey's book, and will be called She Said.
Who is screenwriting the film?
Acclaimed screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz has been hired to write the screenplay for the film based on Kantor and Twohey’s ground-breaking investigation.
Even if you don't know Lenkiewicz by her name, you'll recognise her work. She co-wrote the screenplay for the adaptation of Disobedience (2017) and later collaborated on the screenplay for Colette in 2018, which both received a rating above 80 percent by Rotten Tomatoes. Leinkiewicz has worked with Hollywood stars such as Rachel Weisz, Keira Knightley and Rachel McAdams.
Directing the production will be Maria Schrader, who most recently directed the critically-acclaimed Netflix series Unorthodox.
What is the Harvey Weinstein film plot?
The film will follow Kantor and Twohey as they unmask decades of harassment and sexual assault allegations linked to the former film producer in the lead up to the investigation.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, 'Plan B and Annapurna are not aiming to tell the tale of Weinstein or his purported crimes, but rather how the reporters faced down threats and intimidation to push through with one of the most important stories of the decade.'
Details of the plot are yet to be released but be prepared to hear stories based on the disturbing accounts from women who were allegedly assaulted by Weinstein such as Emily Nestor and Judd, who both claimed to have been abused at the Peninsula in Beverly Hills.
Variety editor Brent Lang says ‘the film is being described as in the vein of All the President’s Men' - the 1974 drama which follows two Washington Post reporters investigating the Watergate scandal that resulted in the resignation of former US president, Richard Nixon.
Who are Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey?
Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are the New York Times investigative reporters that exposed Harvey Weinstein for alleged sexual harassment.
In an era of 'fake news', the aftermath of Kantor and Twohey’s breaking news story for The New York Times reminds us of the power of journalism and truthful story telling. A year after their story was published, Kantor and Twohey told the newspaper how they encouraged women to speak up: 'We can’t change what’s happened to you', they often told the women, 'but if you work with us and we work to tell the truth, we may be able to prevent other people from getting hurt'.
In April 2018, Kantor and Twohey (The New York Times) were awarded the Pulitzer prize for public service along with Ronan Farrow (The New Yorker) for their work investigating the allegations.
In September 2019, the pair published their book, She Said. Continuing from the threads of the article, the book gives readers a riveting insight into their reporting process, analysis of the settlement documents and interviews with celebrities such as Rose McGowan and Paltrow.
Speaking to ELLE UK after their book's release, the journalists told us about their groundbreaking work: 'We never expected to be in this position. We were just doing our jobs working on a particularly tough story when this all happened... Our book is a way of creating a permanent lasting historical record of what happened. We want people to hear the women in their own words. We want other people to see what we've seen.'
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