Former Miramax head Harvey Weinstein, tired of merely bullying people inside the film industry, has set his sights on a bigger target: the National Rifle Association. He's producing The Senator's Wife, a film that will star perennial Oscar nominee Meryl Streep, based on the NRA's efforts after the Sandy Hook massacre to prevent President Obama from expanding background checks on gun sales. Taking a typically conciliatory tone, Weinstein promises the NRA are "going to wish they weren't alive after I'm done with them," and that he hopes stock in gun manufacturers will "crash and burn" in its wake.
While there's probably an even-handed documentary to be made about the efforts to enact stronger gun control in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, Weinstein's film will be a more pointed, fictional tale he compares to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. As Weinstein announced his plans to make the movie on Howard Stern's show, he declared, "I don't think we need guns in this country," and called the NRA "a disaster area."
Gun control remains an extremely hot-button issue, as evidenced by the fact that it's virtually impossible to find an article about the film that doesn't already take one side or the other. If you think the NRA's tactics are odious, try Deadline, which quotes President Obama's shaming of the organization after his gun legislation failed in Congress, then points out that after the Aurora and Newton massacres, the NRA made robocalls to local residents—including the parents of murdered children—asking for money. And if you think the NRA is the only thing stopping the jack-booted thugs from taking away all of our rights, try the Washington Times, which devotes a full half of its article on the project to a defense of gun rights that's directed at Weinstein personally—a defense that invokes the Holocaust almost immediately. Based on this early reaction, we can only imagine the tone the debate will have reached by the time the film actually hits theaters.
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