Emilia Clarke And Michael Shannon Tease Joseph McCarthy Biopic


Given his standing as one of the most notable figures of 20th Century American politics, it’s surprising to think that nobody’s taken the plunge to make a biopic tracing the life and times of Joseph McCarthy.

The politician, attorney and Wisconsin senator was the public face of the Cold War and the battle against Communism, drawing both fame and notoriety for alleging that Soviet spies and Communist sympathizers were embedded in all aspects of the culture, from the federal government to the film and television industry.

Filmmaker Václav Marhoul will direct McCarthy from a script by Tom O’Connor, who recently penned Benedict Cumberbatch’s Cold War thriller The Courier. Three-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon will play the title role, with Game of Thrones veteran and Marvel Cinematic Universe newcomer Emilia Clarke as his wife Jean Kerr.

As per Variety, Clarke compared her performance to Lady Macbeth during a presentation at the virtual American Film Market, where McCarthy is putting the word out in regards to financing and distribution.

“There have been parallels drawn between her and Lady Macbeth, and there is a calculated-ness to her that will allow her to be in a position of power at a time when no woman ever was going to get into that position of power. It’s fascinating, and it’s nuanced, and it’s complicated, and it’s alarmingly familiar. I have to be a part of telling this story now so I can take some time and better understand what is it about politics that gets particular people to be incredibly persuasive.”

joseph mccarthy

The cast also includes Scoot McNairy as Ray Kiermas and Dane DeHaan as Roy Cohn, with production on McCarthy slated to begin next year in what promises to be a serious awards season contender, should it live up to the undoubted and utterly fascinating potential of its protagonist.