The last time Dennis Quaid and Julianne Moore worked together he played her unfaithful husband in "Far From Heaven." Now they are to reunite as two sides of the most famous triangle in political history — President Bill Clinton and now Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the upcoming film "A Special Relationship."
The biopic will mark the directorial debut of Peter Morgan who will be working from his own script. While the focus of the film will be on the relationship between the Clintons and their UK counterparts — Tony Blair and his wife Cherie Booth — in the late 1990s, it will address the president's indiscretion with Monica Lewinsky.
For Morgan, this is the third and final chapter in a trilogy that began with "The Deal" in 2003. That telefilm detailed discussions between one-time friends and political rivals Tony Blair and Gordon Brown that resulted in the former assuming the leadership of the Labor Party while the latter bided his time for well over a decade before becoming Prime Minister. Michael Sheen earned raves for his portrayal of Blair and "The Deal" won the 2004 BAFTA TV award for single drama.
In 2006 Morgan decided to shed light on the dark days following the 1997 death of the Princess of Wales in "The Queen." That project, which also began as a Granada TV production, ended up as a theatrical release, and earned six Oscar nominations. Among those was a best picture nod as well as one for Peter Morgan's original screenplay. He lost to Michael Arndt for "Little Miss Sunshine." As the title character, Helen Mirren was crowned lead actress.
Michael Sheen reprised his role as Blair in "The Queen" and will be returning once more for "A Special Relationship." And Helen McCrory will again appear as Booth. Lewinsky will be seen only via archival news clips. While the start and release dates have not been determined, this project is sure to attract much attention. Excepting the fictionalized version of the Clintons seen in 1998's "Primary Colors" (and played so well by John Travolta and Emma Thompson), this will be the first depiction of the former first couple on-screen.
And the twosome who are to play them are certainly among the brightest talents in Hollywood. While Julianne Moore won a slew of critics awards and earned her fourth Oscar nomination for "Far From Heaven," she lost that race by a false nose to Nicole Kidman, her co-star from "The Hours." Surprisingly Dennis Quaid was snubbed by the academy despite winning the supporting actor prize with the Gotham film critics and landing Golden Globe and SAG nods.
Playing the disgraced Richard Nixon landed both Anthony Hopkins ("Nixon," 1995) and Frank Langella ("Frost/Nixon," 2008) lead actor nods. Previous presidential portraits that were more flattering earned lead actor nominations for Raymond Massey ("Abe Lincoln in Illinois," 1940), Alexander Knox as Woodrow Wilson ("Wilson," 1945), and James Whitmore as Harry S Truman ("Give 'Em Hell Harry," 1975). And as the stoic Patricia Nixon, Joan Allen was a supporting actress nominee for "Nixon."
Photo: Focus Features