John Cusack and his production company, New Crime, are considering a movie about conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, EW confirms. Cusack will star as the radio personality and Betty Thomas (I Spy, John Tucker Must Die) will direct. The AP first reported the story.
Annett Wolf, Cusack’s publicist, told EW the film is not a biopic about Limbaugh in the traditional sense. “It’s a much broader story, about how he reinvented American talk radio over the last 30 years,” she said.
Cusack’s decision to portray the inflammatory pundit is unusual for several reasons. First, Cusack is an outspoken liberal, while Limbaugh is a champion of conservative values. Limbaugh made headlines earlier this year when he called Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” for asking that the school’s health insurance coverage include birth control. Second, Cusack is 46 and trim, while Limbaugh is 61 and heavyset. Of course it won’t be the first time an actor has undergone a dramatic physical change for a role, but it will be an interesting transformation.
Betty Thomas, however, is operating on more familiar ground. In 1997 she directed Private Parts, a biopic about another envelope-pushing radio host: Howard Stern. She tells AP that production is set for “next year.”