Bruce Campbell will be the voice of President Richard M. Nixon in an indie thriller and dark comedy set in the Watergate era called “18 1/2” as directed by Slamdance Film Festival co-founder Dan Mirvish, Bugeater Films announced Friday.
The film’s live-action cast was also unveiled and stars Willa Fitzgerald, John Magaro, Vondie Curtis Hall, Catherine Curtin and Sullivan Jones. And alongside Campbell in the voice cast are Ted Raimi as Gen. Al Haig and Jon Cryer as H. R. Haldeman.
“18 1/2” is a historical fiction film about the 18 1/2 minutes of audio erased from President Nixon’s Oval Office voice recording system that led to the unraveling of the Watergate scandal. It made the audio’s erasure one of the worst incidents of evidence destruction by a presidential administration and something that’s been ripe for conspiracy theories. Campbell has previously played another President, playing Ronald Reagan on “Fargo,” and his voice will appear throughout the film on Nixon’s various audiotapes.
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The film specifically is about a woman in the Nixon White House who tries to leak the 18 1/2-minute tape to a reporter, and Mirvish describes the film as a cross between “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “3 Days of the Condor,” “but a little funnier than either of those.”
Mirvish shot “18 1/2” this spring in Greenport, New York but was forced to halt production because of the coronavirus pandemic, with just four days remaining to shoot. Voice performances were conducted remotely this summer, and production hopes to finish in the early fall pursuant to health and safety protocols.
“I’ve been thrilled and honored to be working with such a talented and dedicated cast and crew,” Mirvish said in a statement. “Having to take a ‘pandemic pause’ so close to wrapping was disappointing, but necessary in light of coronavirus, but the cast and crew have rallied together behind the project and we all are excited to finish the film soon.”
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“During production, we were in a beautiful, isolated compound at the Silver Sands Motel & Cottages in Greenport, which itself is on the remote tip of Long Island. I’m from Long Island, and it was a pleasure to work with these immensely talented artists in the homeland. We’re looking forward to finishing up production in a safe and efficient manner,” the film’s writer and producer Daniel Moya said in a statement.
“18 1/2” was written by Moya based on a story by Mirvish and Moya. The movie was produced by Dan Mirvish, Daniel Moya and Terry Keefe. The film’s executive producer is Richard Schenkman, with co-executive producers Paul Orzulak, Kyra Rogers, Dana Altman, Elisabeth Jereski, Frédéric Forestier and co-producers Mike Nichols and Alan Steinman. “18 1/2” is a Bugeater Films production in association with Syncopated Daydreams.
The film’s director of photography is Elle Schneider, the music by Luis Guerra, the production designer is Monica Dabrowski, the costume designer is Sarah Cogan, and the casting director is Bess Fifer, CSA.
All rights are available for “18 1/2,” and there are currently no plans for release.
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Campbell is most recently known for “Ash vs. Evil Dead” and as a voice on “The Last Kids on Earth.”Fitzgerald starred in the USA series “Dare Me.” John Magaro is the lead in Kelly Reichardt’s recently released “First Cow,” and will appear in the upcoming “Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark” for Warner Bros/New Line. Curtis Hall is known for roles in “Chicago Hope” and “Daredevil.” Curtin most recently appeared in “Bad Education,” “Blush,” “Inside the Rain,” and “The Half of It.” Jones most recently appeared in the controversial Broadway show “Slave Play.” Mirvish most recently directed “Bernard and Huey,” which starred Jim Rash and David Koechner.
Fitzgerald is represented by Paradigm and Untitled Entertainment. Magaro is represented by Paradigm and Authentic Talent & Literary Management. Hall is represented by The Gersh Agency. Curtin is represented by Artists & Representatives and Sullivan Talent Group. Jones is represented by Artists & Representatives and Authentic Talent & Literary Management. Raimi is represented by Stagecoach Entertainment. Cryer is represented by United Talent Agency and Forward Entertainment. Campbell is represented by Agency for the Performing Arts. Mirvish is represented by Provocation Entertainment.