Hoping to ride the cash cow of Game Change, the mini-series adaptation of the Mark Halperin and John Heilemann book that proved an Emmy-sweeper, HBO decided to pay Martin Scorsese a bunch of cash to make a documentary about the world’s most charismatic politician, Bill Clinton.
According to the press release from today:
HBO and Martin Scorsese will partner for a documentary spotlighting William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, it was announced today by Richard Plepler, recently named CEO, HBO and Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. Made with Clinton’s full cooperation, the film will explore his perspectives on history, politics, culture and the world, with Scorsese producing and directing, and Steve Bing producing.
“President Clinton is one of the most compelling figures of our time, whose world view and perspective, combined with his uncommon intelligence, make him a singular voice on the world stage,” said Plepler and Lombardo. “This documentary, under Marty’s gifted direction, creates a unique opportunity for the President to reflect on myriad issues that have consumed his attention and passion throughout both his Presidency and post-Presidency.”
“A towering figure who remains a major voice in world issues, President Clinton continues to shape the political dialogue both here and around the world,” observed Scorsese. “Through intimate conversations, I hope to provide greater insight into this transcendent figure.”
“I am pleased that legendary director Martin Scorsese and HBO have agreed to do this film,” said President Clinton. “I look forward to sharing my perspective on my years as President, and my work in the years since, with HBO’s audience.”
The Clinton documentary marks Martin Scorsese’s fourth collaboration with HBO, following the documentaries “Public Speaking” (2010) and the Emmy®-winning “George Harrison: Living in the Material World” (2011), and the hit series “Boardwalk Empire,” for which he serves as an executive producer, as well as winning an Emmy® for directing last year.
This looks hopeful, though great directors and great politicians don’t always make for a fascinating–or even successfully propagandist–piece of art. After all, raise your hand if you’ve ever seen that mini-doc Spike Jonze did about Al Gore during his 2000 presidential run. Okay, now keep your hands raised if you made it through all 13 minutes of it.
Case closed, your honor. Though on the other hand, this would be a great opportunity for Scorsese to pick out some Rolling Stones tracks that feature Bobby Keys. May we suggest “Happy”?