It was revealed to ET Canada Tuesday that Damian Lewis is set to play Toronto’s controversial former mayor in the upcoming movie “Run This Town” alongside the likes of Ben Platt. However, Canadian reporter Robyn Doolittle is less than impressed with the casting.
The Hollywood Reporter claimed the thriller, which is said to be currently shooting in Toronto, will focus on Ford’s last year of his mayoral term. He died in March 2016 aged 46.
The site also stated that despite IMDb not even having character names listed as of yet, Platt and Nina Dobrev would be starring alongside Lewis, 47, in the flick.
Platt was rumoured to be playing the role of a reporter who attempts to expose a scandal involving a politician (Ford), who doesn’t play by the rules. In real life, the businessman famously had a history of alcohol and drug abuse, with a video showing him smoking crack cocaine emerging online while he was mayor. Ford was also accused of sexual assault.
Dobrev is thought to be playing one of the politician’s aides, alongside Mena Massoud.
However, the casting news didn’t go down particularly well with the journalist who gained note for her coverage of Ford’s political and personal life at the time; Doolittle. She took to Twitter to slam bosses for casting a male and not a female in the role.
The reporter posted:
However, she did add that it wasn’t a personal attack at Platt, going on to say:
The actor then replied to insist that his part is “totally fictionalized.”
Not ending his comments there, Platt also took to Twitter to give people a little more insight into the upcoming film, with him insisting his character “is in no way based on Robyn Doolittle.”
He also said the movie is “historical fiction” and is “not a Rob Ford biopic nor a retelling of Doolittle’s successful reporting.”
ET Canada has reached out to Doolittle and the producers of the film for further comments.
See Platt’s full message below:
A source has since told ET Canada that the film is a fictitious drama based loosely on the last year of Rob Ford’s life, adding that the director (who also wrote the script) is from Toronto, and the role of Rob Ford is a very small part of the film.
“Run This Town” writer-director Ricky Tollman offered confirmation, along with more details about the film in an interview with the National Post, explaining the film is not a biopic about Ford, who is only tangential to the plot.
“This isn’t the Rob Ford story,” he told the Post, describing the late Toronto mayor as a minor character in the story, which focuses on Platt’s portrayal of “a young journalist, desperate to prove himself, who catches wind of a scandal involving a flashy, unpredictable politician with no filter. Political aides attempt to keep their boss in check — and the story under wraps — in order to save their jobs.”
In fact, Tollman shut down rumours the movie would focus on Ford, insisting the film “is an imagined story representing people that I know that have been trying to make their way in life in the footsteps of people who are much better at their jobs.”
He added: “[Platt’s character] is a guy who is an intern at a newspaper, who is an assistant to reporters. He’s working in the records and archives of the newspaper and trying to up his position there. It was a surprise to me [that] people took three words out of the description of the film and spun it into something that it’s not, without having read the script.”
The controversy erupted after Damian Lewis was said to have revealed that he would be playing Ford to The Kit before sitting down with the publication to do an interview.
The magazine posted that Lewis had been running a few minutes late because he’d spent the afternoon getting fitted for a prosthetic to play the late businessman.