We’re adapting everything else, why not a podcast? Ben Stiller is set to direct/produce/co-write a feature adaptation of Rachel Maddow’s hit podcast, Bag Man.
The film is currently set up for development with Focus Features:
The Bag Man podcast chronicles the true story of one of the most brazen political bribery scandals in American history, which played out before the country while nobody was paying attention. The podcast asked if it was really possible for an American Vice President to carry out a criminal enterprise inside the White House and have nobody remember?
The podcast goes back over 40 years to “to dig into a story that got overshadowed in its day, one that features intrigue, corruption and envelopes of cash delivered to the White House.”
Stiller worked on the screenplay with Adam Perlman and Mike Yarvitz, who actually worked on the podcast with Maddow.
This has been a passion project for Stiller, who originally expressed his love for the podcast back in 2018, when he tweeted, “I am loving @Maddow’s #BagMan podcast. Such great storytelling and so crazily current. It’s so well done!”
No word on when production may begin, but Stiller has several projects in different stages of development, so they’ll be working around his busy schedule.
Kevin Smith’s career will be linked to Harvey Weinstein forever. He has worked with the producer for over a decade, and most of Smith’s early work (Clerks, Mall Rats, Dogma, etc) was produced by Miramax and The Weinstein Co.
So when the sexual assault allegations came raining down on Weinstein, Smith was shocked, confused and incredibly disappointed. He didn’t know how to handle the situation.
Smith addressed the issue on his most recent podcast episode of Hollywood Babble-On. He revealed that he’s going to donate all future-residuals from his Weinstein-backed films to the non-profit Women in Film, which advocates for the advancement of women in the industry.
“My entire career is tied up with the man. It’s been a weird f–king week. I just wanted to make some f–king movies, that’s it. That’s why I came, that’s why I made Clerk. No f–king movie is worth all this. Like, my entire career, f–k it, take it. It’s wrapped up in something really f–king horrible. I’m not looking for sympathy. I know it’s not my fault, but I didn’t f–king help. I sat out there talking about this man like he was a hero, like he was my friend, like he was my father and s–t like that.”
You can tell by the emotion in his voice that he really was hurt by this. I mean, it’s easy to reply to all this with, “Well, how the hell did he not know?”
But the truth is, we don’t know how much anyone knew. There were clearly people who knew about Weinstein’s behavior, and there were some people out there who knew a few people had complained about him, but they didn’t realize the allegations were this serious. Smith could be in that second group.
At least he’s doing the right thing now. Much respect.