David Gordon Green’s newest film, Our Brand is Crisis, premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, and a trailer was just released in advance of the screening.
Before you hear the synopsis and get too excited about something that sounds like an original idea in a Hollywood climate of infinite-remake-regress, know that this, too, is a remake of sorts. It’s based on a documentary of the same name that was released in 2005. That documentary followed political marketing team Greenberg Carville Shrum as they oversaw the campaign of former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada.
Mirroring the documentary — which centered especially on the work of James Carville — the main character was conceived for a man. And as Wired points out, George Clooney was originally considering playing the role — but when Sandra Bullock declared her interest, it was rewritten for her. (Clooney, however, produced the film, alongside Argo producer Grant Heslov).
Bullock plays “Calamity” Jane Bodine, a political strategist who retired after her reputation was besmirched by a scandal. She’s coaxed out of professional dormancy by an underperforming Bolivian political candidate, and brings a team of Americans to help him win the election — and beat her rival (Billy Bob Thornton), who’s aiding another candidate. But, as the official description explains, “Jane is plunged into a personal crisis as intense as the one her team exploits nationally to boost their numbers” once Thornton’s character begins to manipulate her vulnerabilities. From the trailer, it looks like somewhere along the way she has a pivotal moral crisis about her line of work in what hopefully won’t be too sanctimonious of a character arc.
The film also stars Joaquim de Almeida, Anthony Mackie, Zoe Kazan, Ann Dowd, and Scoot McNairy. It’ll open in theaters on October 30. Watch the trailer: