Bombshell - All you need to know about female-led Fox News scandal film, including the story behind it

Roger Ailes’ victims fight back in the Oscar-winning movie starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie. Discover more about the movie.

By Sophia Moir Published: 14 February 2020 - 3.58pm
Film

Nicole Kidman

Margot Robbie

Lionsgate

Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie take the lead in Bombshell, the Oscar-winning film about the Roger Ailes sexual harassment scandal at Fox News.

Directed by Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, The Campaign), Bombshell is a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time, and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it.

From how to watch and the trailer, to comparisons  with The Loudest Voice and the true story that inspired it, we reveal all you need to know about Bombshell.

Bombshell release date and how to watch in the UK

Grab the popcorn because Bombshell is in UK cinemas for you to watch now.

Bombshell image Lionsgate

Margot Robbie to Charlize Theron - cast in a nutshell

Charlize Theron (Monster, Mad Max: Fury Road) plays Fox host Megyn Kelly, who published allegations against Ailes in her 2016 memoir. Kelly angered the Fox News fanbase by challenging Donald Trump on his anti-women attitudes before the US presidential election.

According to Town and Country Mag, Theron wore an impressive array of custom prosthetics to transform herself into a shockingly accurate likeness of Kelly. These included a nose plug, nose tip, and pieces for her eyelids, jaw, and chin.

Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge, The Hours) plays former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes.

Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad, The Wolf of Wall Street) plays a fictional composite character called Kayla Pospisil, representing the women who were abused by Ailes at the Fox News network.

Robbie told Entertainment Weekly: "Kayla is an amalgamation of many women's stories, and some of the specifics you see in scenes with her are taken from real-life interactions those women experienced.”

John Lithgow (The Crown, 3rd Rock from the Sun) plays Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News. Lithgow had prosthetics applied to adjust his nose, cheeks, neck, hairline, and earlobes to portray the media titan.

Bombshell John Lithgow Lionsgate

The impressive transformations of the lead cast earned the film Oscar and BAFTA awards for Best Make Up and Hair.

Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Mark Duplass, Rob Delaney, Malcolm McDowell and Allison Janney also star.

Bombshell trailer: Get a glimpse of the action

The true story that inspired Bombshell 

In 2016, Fox News reached a settlement with former news anchor Gretchen Carlson for a reported $20m over claims she was fired from the network after she refused sexual advances from Ailes, The Guardian reported at the time.

Carlson’s lawsuit accused Fox chairman and CEO Ailes of propositioning her for sex and threatening to ruin her career if she refused, The Guardian continues. 

Her claims unleashed a wave of accusations from other women who encountered Ailes during his decades-long career in television and Republican politics.

Allegations of sexual misconduct against Ailes date back to before 2016, but the film focuses on the year when Carlson went public with her accusations.

Ailes resigned as chairman and CEO of Fox News two weeks after Carlson filed her lawsuit. He died a year later.

Bombshell vs The Loudest Voice

The Loudest Voice is a Showtime mini-series that aired on Sky Atlantic in the UK, based on a biography about Ailes called The Loudest Voice in the Room. 

It stars Russell Crowe as Ailes and Naomi Watts as Carlson (played by Nicole Kidman in the feature film).

The miniseries focuses on the rise of the Fox News network through to the sexual harassment claims and Ailes’ eventual ousting from the network, reports Standard.co.uk.

Bombshell, on the other hand, focuses on Ailes’ female victims and their courageous battle to bring him to justice.

The Loudest Voice also does not feature Megyn Kelly (played by Margot Robbie in the film).

Bombshell is in UK cinemas now.

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