EXCLUSIVE: Dennis Quaid has landed the role of Col. Roger Charles in Truth, the story of the scandal that ended the careers of veteran CBS newsman Dan Rather and 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes. The film stars Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett in those two roles, with James Vanderbilt directing his script. Film starts shooting this week. Elizabeth Moss also signed on.
Quaid’s character served two tours in Vietnam, then in the Pentagon before becoming a liaison working with 60 Minutes II. He was invaluable in working with Mapes when she broke the blockbuster scandalous news story of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. On the heels of that triumph, Charles chased the rumor that then-President George W. Bush had ducked serving in Vietnam after he graduated Yale in 1968 and instead got a cushy gig in the National Guard because of the clout of his father, who was an ambassador at the time. Charles and Mapes got caught relying on dubious documents.
The ensuing scandal during Bush’s re-election campaign against Vietnam vet John Kerry led to the firing of Mapes and left Rather’s storied reputation in tatters. The docs came from a retired lieutenant colonel with the Texas Army National Guard and after the story prompted an outcry of criticism from conservative corners, CBS conducted an internal investigation into whether the documents were forgeries.
Vanderbilt’s the A-list screenwriter behind the first two installments of The Amazing Spider-Man who makes his feature directorial debut on the film. He adapted Mapes’ 2005 memoir Truth And Duty: The Press, The President, And The Privilege Of Power. Pic will be produced by Mythology Entertainment, the production partnership between Vanderbilt, Brad Fischer and Laeta Kalogridis. Fischer, William Sherak, Vanderbilt and Mikkel Bondesen are producing.
WME and attorney Stewart Brookman rep Quaid.