Watch CBS News

Charlize Theron to play Megyn Kelly in upcoming movie about Roger Ailes

Charlize Theron is set to play "Today" show host and former Fox News star Megyn Kelly in an upcoming movie. The film will focus on the fall of former Fox News chief Roger Ailes and the sexual misconduct accusations that led to his ouster. 

Former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson is also a character in the untitled project from Annapurna Pictures. Jay Roach serves as director and Charles Randolph is the screenwriter, according The Hollywood Reporter

Theron will play Kelly, a former lawyer who became one of the biggest stars of Fox News with her show "The Kelly File." Fox News reportedly pressured Kelly to publicly come to Ailes' defense, and she refused. 

Ailes resigned in 2016 less than a month after he was sued for sexual harassment by Carlson. Carlson said she was removed as a host of the morning show "Fox & Friends" in 2013 and her pay cut because she had complained about sexual harassment.

Several Fox employees defended Ailes when the allegations came to light, but notably, not Kelly. Then it was reported that Kelly was among other women who had told investigators about harassment by Ailes, which he denied. Ailes was subsequently pushed out of the company. He died in 2017 at 77. 

Ailes, who built Fox News over 20 years, was credited with launching the careers of Kelly, Carlson, Sean Hannity and others. Under Ailes's leadership, Fox News became one of TV's most powerful players with its lineup of conservative pundits, and a significant financial success for its parent company 21st Century Fox.

Theron will also serve as producer on the film project, along with Beth Kono and AJ Dix. Roach, Randolph and Margaret Riley are also producing. 

Other possible characters in the film include former anchor Greta Van Susteren, Rupert Murdoch and Bill O'Reilly. 

Roach is in familiar territory with the story ripped from recent headlines; he also directed "Game Change," on the 2008 presidential campaign, and is set to direct a TV adaptation of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House." 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.