EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios has acquired Linda And Monica, the Black List script by Flint Wainess that details the budding friendship between D.C. pals Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky that imploded when it led to the revelation of the scandalous relationship between the White House intern and President Bill Clinton. The film will be produced by Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch, the Escape Artists trio that produced the Best Picture nominated Fences and the upcoming sequel to The Equalizer.
Lewinsky was a 22-year old White House intern and Tripp a White House aide who secretly recorded her young pal’s revelations of sexual liasons with then President Bill Clinton in the White House. Tripp, who later said she was acting in her former friend’s best interests, leaked the tape to Kenneth Starr, the special prosecutor who was investigating Whitewater. It became a tawdry scandal complete with a subpoena of her blue semen-stained dress, and it later a congressional call for impeachment. It severely crushed the career and life of Lewinsky, and her family — I remember her father once speaking out publicly when the NBC series Law & Order took to calling a certain sex act a “Lewinsky.” Lewinsky said the notoriety made it impossible for her to find work, and she stayed out of the limelight until briefly resurfacing as an anti-bullying advocate several years ago. While Clinton wasn’t ultimately forced to leave the White House, the scandal led his veep Al Gore to minimize the involvement of the very popular Clinton during Gore’s run for president, which he lost by the narrowest of margins. Many believed Clinton could have helped. Some of the script is based on the actual conversations between the women.
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This marks just the latest hot button political issue set up for movie or series. Adam McKay had set Christian Bale to play former vice president Dick Cheney, Steve Carell to play Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Amy Adams to play Lynne Cheney in a feature about George W. Bush’s polarizing vice president, at Annapurna with Plan B producing. Michael Moore will turn in his cut of the sequel Fahrenheit 11/9 about the election and presidency of Donald Trump; Oliver Stone on June 12 debuts The Putin Interviews in four hour long broadcasts. McKay is simultaneously developing with Jennifer Lawrence Bad Blood, a film about Elizabeth Holmes, whose Silicon Valley blood-testing Theranos was vastly overvalued and came crashing back to earth when questions arose about the reliability of the service’s pinprick testing method. McKay had a lot to do with starting the current trend because of the sleeper success of The Big Short, which won Best Original Screenplay Oscars for McKay and co-writer Charles Randolph. Showtime just made a deal for a Blumhouse TV-generated series about the rise and fall of the late Fox News chief Roger Ailes over sexual harassment accusations. Randolph is writing a feature version of that for Annapurna.
Wainess is repped by UTA and Kaplan/Perrone.
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