Connecting the Dots from Bush to Trump: Doug Liman Recuts His 8-Year-Old Valerie Plame Movie ‘Fair Game’

IndieWire | 9/14/2018 | Staff
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Doug Liman is an independent filmmaker who gets away with murder in Hollywood because he boasts a string of major hits, from “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “The Bourne Identity” to “Edge of Tomorrow.” He often throws sets into chaos in order to achieve unexpected results. “My films have been successful and therefore the process has accommodated me,” he once told me. “When the studio said ‘no,’ I did it anyhow. Now, they don’t say no to me.”

Indeed. Liman’s films are consistently watchable and entertaining in their quirky unpredictability, even with his misfires (see: “Jumper”). Indie-financed “Fair Game” (Summit Entertainment), which earned mixed reviews (Metascore: 69) and struggled at the 2010 box office (domestic total: $9 million), is hardly the usual candidate for a re-release 8 years later. Yet here it is. “I’ve never seen a rule I didn’t think about breaking,” he told me on the phone.

Fashion - Liman - Permission - Version - Fair

In typical fashion, Liman didn’t ask permission before he decided to re-cut a new version of “Fair Game.” Liman cut corners in order to edit at home on his own Avid. When he showed it to Lionsgate, they chose to enhance the film’s library value with a re-release and Netflix debut ahead of the election. (Liman wanted to give the film away, but they didn’t let him do that. He can show it to schools for free.) It will hit digital platforms October 23 and Netflix on November 1.

“Fair Game” always resonated for Liman. (His father, the late attorney Arthur Liman, was chief counsel for the Senate’s investigation of the Iran-Contra affair.) Jez and John-Henry Butterworth adapted Valerie Plame’s memoir “Fair Game: My Life as a Spy,” about how the government leaked the identity of the CIA operative (Naomi Watts) as payback for her husband Joe Wilson’s (Sean Penn) criticism of the Bush...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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