Robert Redford Will Play Dan Rather In Truth And Duty


Ever since his All The President’s Men days – and probably before that – actor/director Robert Redford has been outspokenly political. It should therefore come as no surprise that his next acting project will involve politics, the media, and the complications that arise when the two combine.

Redford has just signed on to play newsman Dan Rather in Truth and Duty, based on 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes’ book Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, And The Privilege Of Power. Like the book, the film will follow the behind-the-scenes account of what happened before, during, and after Rather’s notorious report about how then-president George W. Bush managed to keep out of Vietnam.

The report alleged that Bush had received preferential treatment resulting in his acceptance in the Texas Air National Guard over the heads of other applicants, effectively keeping him out of the Vietnam War. Following the broadcast, CBS received harsh criticism from the blogosphere that centered around the allegation that the documents on which the report was based were forgeries. Events spiraled out of control, leading to an unprecedented investigation into the report, and Mapes and Rather both losing their jobs in the aftermath. Mapes later alleged that her firing was a result of CBS caving to right-wing attacks.

Cate Blanchett is set to join Truth and Duty in the role of Mapes herself, making this a pretty epic cast already. Directing duties fall to screenwriter James Vanderbilt, who penned White House Down and The Amazing Spider-Man and also adapted Truth and Duty. This will be his directorial debut, but at least he has some quality source material and an excellent cast to make things a little easier for him.

Production on Truth and Duty is slated to begin in the fall, but we’ll have to wait and see if it happens. In any case, I have a feeling that this will be one to watch for.