You might think that filmmakers are inclined to make biopics about people they love or admire. However, you can also make a movie about a person who fascinates you, even if you don’t particularly like him or her. That’s the best way I can explain the news from Deadline that John Cusack may make a biopic of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Cusack has made it pretty clear that he is on the other side of the political fence than Limbaugh, and not just, “We disagree about some things,” but more like, “If you say the sky is blue, I’ll swear to my dying day that it’s green.” Here’s how his production company is describing it:
“The script would explore the rise and reinvention of American Talk Radio, and Limbaugh’s continued influence and impact over the last three decades in that world.”
If the movie happens, Cusack would play Limbaugh, which brings up the question of “Fat suit or weight gain?”
Reportedly Betty Thomas is interested in directing. She handled similar territory with “Private Parts,” the Howard Stern biopic.
They say it’s meant to be a neutral, nonpartisan look at a public figure and his influence on the US, but good luck convincing anyone it would be nonpartisan. If it happens, it would have to be a labor of love, with no plans for making money. Limbaugh would spend the three months leading up to its release pounding it every day, so there’s no way his audience would show up. Meanwhile, liberals would feel like they have no interest in the subject, unless they get early word that it’s a hatchet job after all.
It’s also questionable whether it could legally be made without Limbaugh’s permission. He is a public figure, and therefore fair game, but lawyers can find ways to throw up roadblocks to make a project too difficult to pursue. So we’ll see what happens…