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That Movie About the Women of Fox News Has a Title, a Trailer, and a Haunting Transformation by Charlize Theron

Watching the trailer for Bombshell is like watching a mystery unfold since, as far as I can tell, the movie hadn’t announced its title until right here at the end of this teaser. When the trailer dropped online, the movie was still going by “Untitled Charles Randolph Project” on IMDB. So, when it starts, you might not be sure where these three women are heading in their tension-filled elevator, although really, with Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron, and Nicole Kidman all gathered onscreen, there’s only one place this trailer could be set: the offices of Fox News.

Last year, we learned that a movie was being made about the women of Fox News and the culture of sexual harassment that was reportedly rampant at the network under Roger Ailes, who was accused of harassment by more than 20 women, including Megyn Kelly, who will be played here by Charlize Theron in an uncanny transformation.

Kidman will play Gretchen Carlson, and Robbie will play a fictional producer named Kayla Pospisil. Now, this movie is not to be confused with the other Roger Ailes harassment movie project, which starred Russel Crowe as Ailes and Naomi Watts as Carlson. In this one, John Lithgow plays Ailes, Connie Briton plays his wife, Beth, and Malcolm McDowell will play Rupert Murdoch, Ailes’ successor as CEO of Fox News.

The allegations against Roger Ailes, like many against the high-profile men that ignited the spark of the modern #MeToo movement, are only a couple of years old. The rush to be the first to reap these stories for money, prestige, and awards feels really distasteful, and the fact that Bombshell was dropped by its original production company (they cited “budget issues”) isn’t a great confidence boost.

That being said, I do really love this trailer. It centers the women, not their abuser, and even though there’s basically no dialogue, it clearly depicts these women as having levels of nuance beyond their roles as victims of harassment. Fox News puts some truly vile, racist, and sexist (and more) views into the world, and being subjected to harassment behind the scenes doesn’t erase how these women contributed to that.

Actually–totally speculating here–if they had to invent Margot Robbie’s character to give an audience someone to identify with, maybe she’s a victim resisting the complicity demanded of her in spreading those ideas. That would be hilarious and also necessary.

What do you all think of the trailer? Do you also have that weird, haunting vocal melody stuck in your head now?

(image: YouTube)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.