The writer was considered to be the best of his era, not to mention the highest-paid, who earned his first Oscar nomination in 1941 for writing Kitty Foyle. His burgeoning career seemingly came to a halt in 1947, when he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), during the committee's investigation into Communist influences in Hollywood. He was one of the "Hollywood 10" screenwriters who were completely blacklisted by the studio system, although he continued to write under pen names. He won two Oscars in the 1950s for writing Roman Holiday and The Brave One, before helping to put an end to the Hollywood 10 black list once and for all. He went on to write other classics such as Spartacus, Papillon and Exodus before dying of lung cancer in 1976.
Bryan Cranston is playing Dalton Trumbo, with Helen Mirren in talks to play his wife, Cleo. Jay Roach is directing from a script by John McNamara, with the writer also producing alongside Michael London and Janice Williams. No production date has been set, and the film still does not have a distributor lined up yet.
Helen Mirren most recently starred in Red 2, and she will next be seen in The Hundred-Foot Journey. She is no stranger to playing characters based on actual people, portraying Alfred Hitchcock's wife in Hitchcock, starring as Linda Kenney Baden in HBO's Phil Spector and her Oscar-winning role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen.