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In 1988, Senator Gary Hart could have been the Democratic Party's best hope for the presidency. That all changed after a personal scandal not only sunk his personal prospects, it forever altered the way political discourse would be conducted in U.S. politics. Now, thirty years after the fact, writer/director Jason Reitman has adapted that story for the screen, with Hugh Jackman playing Senator Hart himself. Get your first look at The Front Runner with the first explosive trailer below.
Not merely content with delivering Tully to the world in 2018, Reitman is now looking to stir the pot with a film about one of the landmark political scandals of the 1980s, and what could be Jackman's most intriguing performance is at the center of what makes The Front Runner look so compelling. Promised as a dark comedy, the story of Senator Hart's fall from grace is showing its more serious stripes in the first trailer above, with Hugh Jackman showing both an unease and righteous anger that we don't normally see him convey onscreen. For the man who usually emits the aura of musical showman or rampaging badass, his portrayal of Gary Hart looks like it could point toward a golden (statue) future, as he auditions to run with Reitman's repertory pack that includes his co-stars J.K. Simmons and Vera Farmiga.
It should also be noted that The Front Runner is aptly named, as it's not only set to take the stage within the vicinity of the 2018 Midterm Elections, but it also looks like a strong prestige contender for awards glory. Not only does Hugh Jackman shine in this trailer, but Simmons and Farmiga both anchor down some moments of intense action in this trailer that plays like a breezy brick through a plate glass window. With a supporting bench that also includes Alfred Molina, Bill Burr, Toby Huss, and Ari Graynor, it looks like The Front Runner means business when it comes to shaking hands and kissing babies with the various cinematic voting boards all over.
The Front Runner does not look like a film that's merely aiming to either win awards or fire up political discussion. It looks like a film that mixes those twin passions into a cocktail that could entertain, enlighten, and maybe even enrage moviegoers from all walks of life. Those who lived during the Hart scandal will hear familiar echoes of the past, but those who weren't able to witness the collapse of what was once a promising candidacy should be able to easily trace the path between then and now. And what's better, we'll have Hugh Jackman, and a hell of a supporting cast to tell the tale.
The Front Runner will debut at the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, before making its biggest campaign stop in theaters nationwide on November 7th. If you're curious who else will be gunning for your box office / awards season votes at that point, or any other between now and the end of the year, head over to our 2018 release schedule to get informed.