Don’t look for anything too fierce or scorching from HBO’s Recount, a multi-layered account of the backstage drama that took place in Florida during the disputed 2000 Gore-Bush election.

A strikingly lean Al Gore at the 2000 Democratic National Convention

A story posted two days ago by Politico‘s Jeffrey Ressner implies that the two-hour telefilm, directed by Jay Roach and set to air next May, may have been slightly softened in order to keep Bush operatives — those lockstep political strategists generally credited with having helped steal the 2000 election (with the crucial compliance of the U.S. Supreme Court) from Gore — from causing a stir about the film’s depictions of their moves and manuevers.
“Eager to avoid the last-minute flap over accuracy that beset the ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11 last year, the makers of HBO’s upcoming docudrama allowed real-life figures depicted in the project to make script notes, visit the set and offer advice to director Jay Roach,” Ressner reports.
“They also gave relatives of the main characters small roles to placate their concerns.
“Studios and networks that produce stories based on true events will often make extraordinary efforts to avoid the bad press that can erupt if questions emerge about the bias or truth behind a project.
“Before Universal Pictures’ A Beautiful Mind> took home four Academy Awards in 2002, its Oscar chances were nearly derailed when a rival studio leaked rumors that Ron Howard‘s film about a schizophrenic math genius left out key parts of his troubled life, including reported homosexual and anti-Semitic incidents.
“And when HBO made a Peter Sellers biopic in 2004, the actor’s son raised a fuss about the accuracy of the film’s source material.
Recount, which wrapped shooting in Florida earlier this month after six weeks of production, was written by actor Danny Strong (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer).”