EXCLUSIVE: Actor James Cromwell (Succession, The Laundromat) is teaming up with Janek Ambros of Assembly Line Entertainment and Nando Vila of Pop Front Pictures to produce Nixon’s Nixon, a film based on Russell Lees’ play of the same name, which Ambros adapted for the screen and will direct.
Nixon’s Nixon marks the third collaboration between Ambros and Cromwell as director and producer, on the heels of the 2019 sci-fi comedy Mondo Hollywoodland and the 2015 war documentary Imminent Threat.
The film will be a dual portrait of former U.S. President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that watches as they scramble to sustain power on the eve of Nixon’s resignation. The play on which it’s based premiered to critical acclaim in 1996, playing Off-Broadway before traveling the globe through the mid-2000s. It came back to the stage in 2019, after finding new resonance in the era of President Donald Trump.
“When I stumbled upon Russell’s play, I was immediately drawn to the incredibly nuanced portrayals of Nixon and Kissinger,” said Ambros. “It’s a great deep dive into these characters and their antics which can act as a microcosm for American hegemony and imperialism, done with such a twisted sense of humor and satire.”
“Something about Nixon will always fascinate us. His mad lust for power. His love of profanity. His absolute conviction that everyone was conspiring to get him. I guess you can say there’s a little Nixon in all of us, on some level,” added Villa. “Russell’s play and Janek’s adaptation are funny, but also fascinating in what they reveal about power dynamics.”
Cromwell is an Emmy winner and Oscar nominee who currently plays Succession‘s Ewan Roy. The actor is known on the film side for turns in The Laundromat, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Marshall, The Artist, Secretariat, W., Spider-Man 3, The Queen, The Longest Yard, I, Robot, The Green Mile, Deep Impact, L.A. Confidential, Star Trek: First Contact, The People vs. Larry Flynt and Babe. Additional TV credits include Berlin Station, Counterpart, The Young Pope, Murder in the First, Halt and Catch Fire, Boardwalk Empire, American Horror Story, 24, Six Feet Under and Angels in America. Over the course of his career, Cromwell has also produced Sherwin Shilati’s TV movie Hit Factor, Justin Eugene Evans’ action-thriller A Lonely Place for Dying and Keegan Kuhn’s Running for Good: The Fiona Oakes Documentary.
Ambros is the award-winning writer, director and producer who founded the production company Assembly Line Entertainment. His past films have played at Sundance, TIFF and the Shanghai Film Festival, among other festivals.
Vila co-founded the film and TV development company Pop Front Pictures with Bhaskar Sunkara and C.C. Kilpatrick. Also in the works at the company is the drama Stefan vs ISIS, which it is developing with Joel David Moore’s Balcony 9 Productions.
Cromwell is represented by Paradigm; Ambros by Tact Media and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.
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