Following closely on the heels of Showtime’s The Loudest Voice, Lionsgate released its first trailer for Bombshell, Hollywood’s latest take down of Fox News, focusing on the sexual harassment scandals that shook up the top-rated cable news station and led to the downfall of founder Roger Ailes.
Bombshell, whose coy trailer debuted on Wednesday, stars (an unrecognizable) Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly and Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson — two of the network’s star anchors who claimed that they were sexually harassed by Ailes (John Lithgow). Margot Robbie also stars as a fictional character.
Lionsgate will release the movie in December, a coveted spot for movies aiming to garner awards attention. The movie was directed by Jay Roach, who helmed HBO’s 2012 movie Game Change, an unflattering dramatization of Sarah Palin’s run for Vice President.
Bombshell comes with its own fraught backstory. The movie was initially set up at Megan Ellison’s Annapurna, which withdrew from the project shortly before filming began as the indie studio contended with financial difficulties stemming from a string of pricey flops.
Bron Studios and Lionsgate picked up the pieces at the last minute. California taxpayers also chipped into the project to the tune of about $2 million in tax credits so that the indie feature could shoot in the Los Angeles area.
Bombshell‘s box-office prospects appear iffy given the relatively tepid reception to Showtime’s The Loudest Voice, which covers much of the same territory.
Despite star power including Russell Crowe and Naomi Watts as Ailes and Carlson, The Loudest Voice met with disappointing ratings, managing to draw only 299,000 total viewers during its Sunday premiere, far behind other Showtime titles like Escape at Dannemora.
Reviews were unenthusiastic, with the Hollywood Reporter calling it “detailed without being truly insightful” and Vulture concluding that it “never connects the dots more fully or provides the kind of insight that might offer a new perspective on one of the most legendary, polarizing figures in the history of news media.”