In June, 'The Undefeated,' a feature-length documentary about Sarah Palin's rise to national prominence, will be released in theaters in an effort to reform the former Alaskan governor's image as she entertains the idea of a 2012 presidential run.
Late last year, Palin aide Rebecca Mansour reached out to conservative filmmaker Steven Bannon, the documentarian behind the Tea Party doc 'Generation Zero,' to develop a series of videos to protect Palin's reputation and legacy after she stepped down as governor of Alaska. Bannon decided instead to craft a full-length film and even reportedly self-financed the $1 million flick.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, two versions of 'The Undefeated' will be released. One is aimed at a general audience and features interviews with Palin supporters, residents of Alaska and conservative bloggers in an effort to clear up alleged misconceptions about Palin, while a second, unedited doc will feature anti-Palin clips from Rosie O'Donnell, Matt Damon, Bill Maher, David Letterman, Howard Stern and Louis C.K. to illustrate the allegedly unfair and cruel treatment she received during her vice-presidential run.
Bannon calls the film "real-life version of 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.'" It will focus on her successes as the governor of Alaska, though it will address her selection as John McCain's running mate in the 2008 U.S. presidential election and the "liberal media's" attempts to strip her of her credibility.
"This film is a call to action for a campaign like 1976: Reagan vs. the establishment," Bannon told RealClearPolitics. "Let's have a good old-fashioned brouhaha."
Palin did not have any editorial role in the project and was not interviewed for the film. However, Bannon was given audio rights to her 2009 autobiography 'Going Rogue' for use as narration. She also provided the filmmaker and his crew with access to individuals involved in the major achievements of her gubernatorial administration.
Bannon and his team worked hard to keep the documentary a secret.
"We shot on the weekends, and we shot in locations that weren't being used during those weekends," Bannon told RCP. "I did it with a handpicked crew of people I know and trust, and we were able to stay under the radar. The planning for the secrecy of this took many, many weeks."
Originally titled 'Take a Stand,' the campaign slogan for Palin's 2006 gubernatorial run, the doc was re-titled 'The Undefeated,' which Bannon and Co. felt was a more "triumphant" title. Palin is said to be a fan of the feature. "The governor thought it was great," SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford said.
Regardless of whether Palin ultimately decides to run for president in 2012, Bannon believes the documentary will have a major impact on the GOP. "This will go off like an atomic bomb in the upcoming Republican primary," he told THR.