The coveted role of Hillary Clinton in James Ponsoldt's indie biopic "Rodham" is Carey Mulligan's to lose and has been for several weeks now, TheWrap has learned, while Mulligan's own publicist has confirmed she's the frontrunner to star.
Despite previous reports that actresses such as Jessica Chastain and Scarlett Johansson were vying for plum part, the decision has always been between Mulligan and Jennifer Lawrence.
Back in April when TheWrap first reported that Ponsoldt would be directing the film, insiders close to "Rodham" said that if Lawrence wanted to play Clinton, the producers would have a hard time turning her down considering the fact that she's coming off an Oscar win for "Silver Linings Playbook" and her box office prowess is only growing.
However, Lawrence has a very full schedule and the producers are hoping to mobilize "Rodham" so it will be ready for release before her expected 2016 presidential campaign.
Mulligan has always been viewed as the best fit for the role, and when the project went out to other directors before Ponsoldt signed on, an insider said that the screenplay came with a note saying Mulligan was officially attached to star.
Mulligan has read the script and is very interested in the lead role, having already met with some of the producers to informally discuss the project, according to sources. The next step is to meet Ponsoldt, who is eager to work with rising starlet Mulligan.
Written by up-and-coming screenwriter Young Il Kim, "Rodham" placed fourth on the 2012 Black List. Set during the height of the Watergate scandal, the story follows rising star Hillary Rodham, the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee to Impeach Nixon, who finds herself forced to choose between a destined path to the White House and her unresolved feelings for former boyfriend Bill Clinton, who is teaching law in Arkansas.
Kim previously described the film to Politico as the "journey of a woman who was torn between her personal desires and her professional ambition — both literally pulled her thousands of miles apart, because Bill did not want to leave Arkansas, and she did not want to leave Washington, D.C."
Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are producing for Temple Hill Entertainment ("The Twilight Saga") along with Richard Arlook of the Arlook Group.
Those familiar with "Rodham" tell TheWrap that producers have planned to attach an actress to the project before shopping it to studios and independent financiers. The media often decries the lack of strong female roles for Hollywood's young actresses, though industry executives who have read the script claim it offers a potentially award-winning role for one lucky ingenue.
Mulligan, who recently earned mixed reviews for her portrayal of Daisy Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby," will soon be seen in the Coen brothers' folk music tale "Inside Llewyn Davis." She's repped by CAA.