CATEGORIES Comedy, Independent, Disney, Distribution, Michael Moore, Cinematical Indie, Movie News, CinematicalDisney might be the last studio I'd trust to get behind a political comedy, but Disney's Touchstone Pictures has picked up distribution rights for Swing Vote, an indie starring Kevin Costner that began filming last month. In the movie, Costner plays a single father whose vote will determine the outcome of a Presidential election. Disney chairman Dick Cook likens the film to a Capra classic, which hopefully doesn't mean it will be as bad as Disney/Hollywood's Mr. Smith sorta-remake, The Distinguished Gentleman.
As the candidates, Dennis Hopper is the Democrat contender and Kelsey Grammar is the Republican (in my imagination: Frank Booth vs. Sideshow Bob -- who would be the better Prez?). As reported previously, the cast also includes Stanley Tucci, Nathan Lane, George Lopez and little Madeline Carroll. Variety now adds Judge Reinhold (hopefully as a Supreme Justice -- "Mr. Reinhold's Courtroom"!), former Brat Packer Mare Winningham, NASCAR racer Richard Petty (as himself) and Willie Nelson (returning to political comedy after his great cameo in Wag the Dog). The IMDb also lists Deja Vu's Paula Patton in a major role.
You may remember that Disney refused to distribute Fahrenheit 9/11 due to its politics. Sure, Swing Vote is likely very far from being so specific in its attacks or its comedy -- it may not even be meant as a relevant or biting satire -- but I'm still surprised the studio would want to touch anything political. Costner, who is co-producing and financing Swing Vote, considers himself a conservative, so maybe the movie is closer to Disney's interests. But then again, CelebPolitics.com rates the actor as "somewhat liberal" and he's reportedly been voting for Democrats since the mid-90s (he's registered as Independent). I guess real politics don't need to come into play with a comedy like Swing Vote and I'm simply letting my mind wander with regards to all this information. The movie, which is scheduled for release next year (in time for the 2008 elections, perhaps?) was co-written by Jason Richman (Joel Schumacher's terrible Bad Company) and Joshua Michael Stern, who is directing.