Current U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was a key player in the explosive 1991 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. He will be portrayed by Greg Kinnear in Confirmation, HBO Films’ upcoming movie on the controversy. Also joining the cast of the project are Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright and Alison Wright.

jenniferhudson copyThe film, set to begin production this summer, details the Supreme Court hearings for Thomas (Wendell Pierce) that were rocked by testimony by Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill (Kerry Washington), which brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way we think about sexual harassment, victims’ rights and modern race relations.

As then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden presided over the Thomas hearings, and there had been speculation over the years that he might have gotten intimidated, cutting the hearings short and not calling additional witnesses while allowing Hill, who had come forward to accuse Thomas of sexual harassment, to be attacked mercilessly by other senators.

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simon
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Alison WrightJeffrey Wright 2One of those additional witnesses who might have changed the outcome of the hearing was Angela Wright (Hudson). Dubbed “the other woman,” Wright was prepared to testify that she too was sexually harassed by Thomas, but she never was called. Jeffrey Wright will play Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree, who represented Hill at the hearing.

Alison Wright will play Thomas’ wife, attorney Virginia “Ginni” Thomas. She also plays a key part in the saga. It was a bizarre voice message she left for Hill in 2010, asking Hill to apologize to her husband, that thrust the story back into the spotlight. A 2013 documentary, Anita, followed, and now HBO is doing an original movie on the case, which will be directed by Rick Famuyiwa — who helmed the Sundance breakout Dope — from a script by Susannah Grant. Grant, Washington, Michael London and Janice Williams executive produce for HBO Films in association with ABC Signature and London and Williams’ Groundswell Production. Eric Stonestreet also co-stars as Ken Duberstein.