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From Wolverine to Gary Hart: Hugh Jackman cast in movie about Colorado senator’s derailed presidential run

Author: Ernest Luning - July 20, 2017 - Updated: July 20, 2017

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Colorado Sen. Gary Hart in 1987 and actor Hugh Jackman in 2017 are pictured. Jackman will play hart in "Frontrunner," an upcoming movie. (Hart photo by Kenneth C. Zirkel, Jackman by AP photographer Eugene Hoshiko)Colorado Sen. Gary Hart in 1987 and actor Hugh Jackman in 2017 are pictured. Jackman will play hart in “Frontrunner,” an upcoming movie. (Hart photo by Kenneth C. Zirkel, Jackman by AP photographer Eugene Hoshiko)

Australian movie star Hugh Jackman will play former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart in “The Frontrunner,” based on a recent bestseller about the Colorado Democrat’s ill-fated 1988 presidential run.

Hart, who served two terms in the U.S. Senate, was the titular frontrunner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination after running a close second to Walter Mondale in 1984, leading then-Vice President George H.W. Bush by double digits. In a single week in May 1987, his campaign was derailed when an unprecedented media frenzy exposed his extramarital affair with model Donna Rice, forever changing the way political news is reported.

After a photo of Rice sitting in Hart’s lap aboard a yacht named Monkey Business emerged, Hart withdrew from the race. (Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis went on to win the Democratic nomination and lose to Bush the following November.)

The adaptation of political journalist Matt Bai’s 2014 book “All the Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid” will be directed by Jason Reitman, The Hollywood Reporter was first to report. Reitman and Bai are slated to collaborate on the screenplay with Jay Carson, and Reitman’s Right of Way Films is producing. A release date has yet to be announced.

Jackman most recently appeared as Wolverine in “Logan,” a somber entry in the X-Men franchise. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his lead role in 2013’s “Les Misérables.” Reitman has been nominated for Oscars for directing “Juno” and “Up in the Air.”

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.