Politico‘s Jeffrey Ressner is reporting that Alex Gibney, director of the Oscar-winning doc Taxi to the Dark Side, is now making a documentary about the Jack Abramoff scandal, which will involve a close look at GOP presidential candidate John McCain‘s role in investigating the affair. The film, currently titled Casino Jack and the United States of Money, will “come out later this year.”
Director George Hickenlooper has informed, meanwhile, that he’s developing a dramatic feature about the Abramoff scandal called Bagman. He says he’s partnered with producer George Zakk (a Vin Diesel associate who’s exec-produced several of Deisel’s films, including Find Me Guilty) on the project, and that the writer is Norm Snider. Hickenlooper says it’s “close to a finished script.”
Casino Jack “should give viewers a greater understanding, in a blow-by-blow way, of how the political process works, particularly with regards to lobbying,” Gibney tells Ressner. “This movie will have it all: wild international intrigue, money changing hands in unexpected places, etc. It will be fun. As someone said about an earlier picture I made: ‘It’s a comedy that turns into farce and ends up in horror.'”
McCain “of course” comes up in the film, adds Gibney, who has “put the word out” to the Arizona senator’s presidential campaign for comment. “He certainly plays a role — he ran the [Abramoff] hearings, so he’s unavoidably involved in the story. Then the questioning extends. Upon further investigation, one looks at his motives and things like that. I don’t want to say much more than that, but he is a character in the story.”