I never watched Alexandra Pelosi’s campaign documentary, Journeys with George, but if Steven Zaillian thinks it’s the political world’s equivalent of The Devil Wears Prada, maybe I’ll track it down. Or maybe I’ll just wait for Zaillian and his recently formed production company, Film Rites, to get their fictionalized feature adaptation into theaters.
The documentary follows then NBC News producer Pelosi as she fights to secure and maintain access to George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign; according to The Hollywood Reporter, the film also finds Pelosi "dealing with the challenges of life and love in the midst of covering a presidential campaign." Yeah, I’m never watching this thing. (Actually, the highlighted quote refers to the fictional film Pelosi is developing. So I guess I will watch the doc, especially since Pelosi has offered to send me a copy. I’m a tremendous pushover.)
But Zaillian has superb taste in material, and I can definitely see him helping Pelosi to shape her narrative into something zippier and, just maybe, a little more profound. Given that Pelosi is one of many network producers who got charmed by the faux-folksy Bush on the campaign trail (while Al Gore was busy pissing off most of the reporters covering his failed push for the White House), I think she owes us something a touch more critical and subversive. Obviously, I shouldn’t judge her doc sight unseen, but the film’s popularity with Republican viewers can’t possibly be a good thing.
The project will be co-produced by Mandate Films, and could very well end up being distributed by Sony (where both companies have a first-look deal). I’ll have to ask Mr. Zaillian about this at the Creative Screenwriting Expo Q&A I’ll be moderating this Sunday.