Hugh Jackman plays Senator Gary Hart in the new trailer for The Front Runner. Hart had presidential ambitions in both 1984 and 1988; in his second campaign, he was the Democratic favorite until The Miami Herald broke the news that he was having an extramarital affair.
In just two minutes, The Front Runner trailer swings from confident to hopeless. It opens with a clip of Jackman recording a reassuring campaign spot: “My name’s Gary Hart, and I’m running for President.” By the end of the trailer, Jackman already sounds defeated as he calls his wife to inform her, “there’s gonna be a story, tomorrow, about me.” In 1987, Hart suspended his campaign less than a month after he launched it.
Jackman is joined in The Front Runner by Vera Farmiga (The Departed, Up in the Air), who plays his wife, and Academy Award-winner J.K. Simmons, who plays Hart’s campaign manager. Much of the trailer is taken up by vicious arguments between Simmons, who urges his boss to address the rumors of his affair, and Jackman, who maintains that his personal life is “nobody’s business.” “This campaign is about the future, not rumors, not sleaze, and I care about the sanctity of this process, whether you do or do not!” Jackman yells.
Keeping with the theme of infidelity, the trailer also relies heavily on the Nina Simone recording of “Sinnerman.” The Front Runner is directed by Jason Reitman, who co-wrote the script with Matt Bai and Jay Carson. The based-on-a-true-story film is set for a November 7th release.