After “Mudbound,” Independent Spirit Award winner Dee Rees is working with Anne Hathaway of “Les Misérables” on her next project, a thriller called “The Last Thing He Wanted,” whose relevance has been heightened by the current US political and cultural climate.
Anne Hathaway is joining Dee Rees for a story about a political reporter who, due to a death in the family, becomes an arms dealer for the US government during the 1980s and is thrust into the middle of the Iran-Contra scandal.
Hathaway is to star as the ex-journalist arms dealer, with other casting announcements to follow for the project adapted from Joan Didion’s 1996 novel of the same name.
The 1980s political affair saw 11 US government officials earn criminal convictions over a two-part deal to sell thousands of anti-tank and anti-air missiles to Iran, via Israel, as part of a secret hostage negotiation.
Proceeds for the sale were then covertly funnelled towards funding an armed revolution in the Central American country of Nicaragua.
Parallels could be drawn between the investigations, trials, testimonies, and presidential pardons that followed, and the current Special Counsel investigation into the Trump presidential campaign’s infiltration by adversaries of the US, specifically, Russian state assets.
Meanwhile, Oliver North, then a staffer at the National Security Council and a key player in the Contra deal and subsequent cover-up, was recently installed as President of the National Rifle Association, at a time when gun control policies are under intense scrutiny in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2018 Academy Awards following her success with post-war race relations drama “Mudbound,” Rees is co-writing, directing, and producing this next project. Production is to begin in northern summer 2018.
Joan Didion’s screenwriting credits include those for Robert de Niro and Robert Duvall crime drama “True Confessions,” the Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer romance “Up Close & Personal,” and the Al Pacino and Kitty Winn New York City drama “The Panic in Needle Park,” all in partnership with husband John Gregory Dunne.
“The Year of Magical Thinking,” Didion’s nonfiction memoir about her experiences as Dunne’s widow, won the National Book Award.