Sydney Pollack to Direct Film About 2000 Election Recount

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This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," April 3, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: It's the election Democrats would like to forget, but HBO isn't going to let them.

The "Big Buzz" is about a new film the network is working on about the 2000 election — that infamous recount, those hanging, dimpled and pregnant chads. The prop people are going to have their work cut out for them to partially punch out all of those holes in all of those paper ballots.

"Big Story" correspondent Douglas Kennedy has more on this upcoming drama.

DOUGLAS KENNEDY, BIG STORY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, John. Right now as we speak they are casting the characters that made the 2000 election so memorable. Those personally involved in the recount say they can't believe they're about to relive it again.


KENNEDY (VOICE OVER): In 2008 the nation will witness Bush vs. Gore, but not at the ballot box. This epic political battle will be on HBO in a new film called "Recount," about the 2000 Florida election fiasco.

BENJAMIN L. GINSBERG, FORMER BUSH CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: It'll actually be a fascinating drama.

KENNEDY: In fact, HBO calls the Florida recount the most drama-filled political event of our time, and says that it is tailor-made to be told in film. Ben Ginsburg was a Bush attorney during the recount and he agrees.

GINSBERG: Well, I'm thrilled about it. I mean, to think that they would actually put the turbo-nerds who were responsible for the Florida recount on the big screen is a great thing.

KENNEDY: The company says it's already signed Oscar-winning Hollywood director Sydney Pollack. In the past, Pollack's directorial successes include the 1980s hit "Tootsie."

HBO says "Recount" will follow both minor and major characters through historical episodes like TV networks declaring Gore the victor, the counting and recounting votes, and eventually to the arguments in front of the Supreme Court.

Dexter Douglass was one of Gore's attorneys who prepared the case for the top justices.

W. DEXTER DOUGLASS, FORMER GORE CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: There was great difficulty in keeping the case focused and all together. It was going on in a lot of different places.

KENNEDY: HBO says the story will not have a political agenda and will portray both sides fairly.

DOUGLASS: The people involved in this were all good people, I think, on both sides.

GINSBERG: I think that they'll give it a fair treatment. I mean, at the end of the day, they're not going to change the ultimate outcome of who won.


KENNEDY: They won't change the outcome, but they will be dealing with a historical event and recreating historical figures. And everyone involved, John, hopes they get that correct.

GIBSON: Well, Doug, am I to believe that Hollywood — liberal Hollywood — is not putting this movie together just to stir Democrats up to get them to all remember how angry they were that Gore had the election stolen from him? That's what they believe.

KENNEDY: You know, it's going to make a great movie. There is so much drama to this. I mean, going to the Supreme Court, it's 5-to-4, 175,000 votes that weren't counted. I mean, you can't get better — and it's very emotional, as you said. People will be tuning in.

GIBSON: Douglas Kennedy, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

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