Jon Hamm is set to star as an FBI agent trying to shut down Salt of the Earth, the only movie named to the Hollywood Blacklist, in a new scripted podcast series.
Audible has ordered The Big Lie, a seven-part audio drama series created by John Mankiewicz, a relative of Citizen Kane co-screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz.
Kate Mara, Ana de la Reguera, John Slattery, Bradley Whitford, Lisa Edelstein, Giancarlo Esposito and David Strathairn also star.
Mankiewicz, a co-exec producer on House of Cards and Bosch, will exec produce alongside Hamm. It comes from a story by blacklisted Salt of the Earth producer Paul Jarrico, co-written by Jamie Napoli and directed by Aaron Lipstadt. Fresh Produce Media produces.
The Big Lie is set in 1950s Hollywood at the height of the “Red Scare,” as a trio of outcast filmmakers try to make a movie that dramatized their pro-labor, pro-feminist beliefs while suffering a conspiracy of active sabotage efforts from the U.S. government, the Hollywood studio system and Howard Hughes. Denounced on the floor of Congress, confronted with riots, shootings and arson, the cast and crew risked their lives to produce Salt of the Earth.
Hamm plays FBI Agent Jack Bergin. The series will launch June 16.
Each episode features an original score by composer David Mansfield with sound design from Joshua Paul Johnson and Peter Bawiec. Matt Schrader is podcast producer.
“Because this was such an important story of a dark, complicated time in a divided America, I’ve always felt I owed it to Paul Jarrico and all the victims of the Hollywood Blacklist to get it told in the best possible way,” Mankiewicz said. “Audio was the perfect medium to bring The Big Lie to life, and Fresh Produce Media and Audible were the perfect team.”
Hamm added, “When John and Aaron came to me with the idea for The Big Lie, it was an automatic yes. Exploring the consequences of what happens when governments try to quiet the voices of the people — especially working people — is a theme that resonates with me deeply in 2022, so getting to both act in and executive produce this series was very rewarding. And getting to tell this story over audio, in a format that mirrors the way audiences might have actually heard it over the radio in the 1950s, made it all the more authentic.”
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