British actor Malcolm McDowell will play media mogul Rupert Murdoch in an upcoming film about the downfall of former Fox News Chief Roger Ailes, Variety reported. Jay Roach is directing the as-yet-untitled-film, which is being produced by Annapurna Pictures and written by Academy award-winner Charles Randolph.
Ailes co-founded Fox News with News Corp’s Murdoch in 1996 and headed the conservative television channel for two decades. He left Fox News in 2016 after he was accused of sexual harassment by at least 20 women, including Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News host who claimed Ailes had fired her after she refused to have sex with him, and host Megyn Kelly, who claimed Ailes had sexually harassed several times. Ailes denied the allegations. Murdoch was one of Ailes’s supporters, but eventually decided to fire him. Alies died of a subdural haematoma aged 77 on May 18, 2017.
McDowell joins a high-profile cast that includes John Lithgow as Roger Ailes, Nicole Kidman as Carlson and Charlize Theron as Kelly. Margot Robbie has been cast as a fictional Fox News associate producer.
An eight-episode limited series on Ailes’s life is also in the works at American cable network Showtime. Based on Gabriel Sherman’s best-selling biography The Loudest Voice in the Room (2014), the series will feature Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe as Ailes and Naomi Watts as Carlson.