EXCLUSIVE: It took more than five years and 20 drafts for Scott Z Burns to complete his screenplay for The Report, the Amazon Studios movie based on real events that centers on Daniel J Jones, a staffer of Sen. Dianne Feinstein who investigated the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program created post-9/11.
Adam Driver plays Jones, whose seven-year pursuit of the truth leads to findings that uncover the lengths to which the agency went to destroy evidence, subvert the law and hide the program from the American people. Bening plays Feinstein; Jon Hamm, Maura Tierney, Dominic Fumusa and Sarah Goldberg also star in a loaded cast.
Burns, who also directed and produced, has crafted a thriller that in essence is a biopic of a 683-page Senate report, which came out five years ago this month. Despite the long gestation period of the movie, he told the audience recently at Deadline’s The Contenders New York that its themes — accountability and courage in politics — have never been more relevant.
“The story that’s revealed in the report is incredibly horrifying and bizarre,” he said. “Beyond that the story of Daniel Jones is incredibly compelling to me. This one guy sits in a windowless room for seven years and pieces together the puzzle.”
Burns’ own efforts to get the film to completion came at the same time another pic he wrote based on real life — Netflix’s Steven Soderbergh-directed The Laundromat, about the uncovering of the Panama Papers scandal — also hit screens this year.
Read the script for The Report here.