Roe Vs. Wade is setting itself up to be one of the most controversial movies to come about in quite some time. The Hollywood Reporter broke news of the movie last week with a story that mostly came from producers Nick Loeb and Cathy Allyn. However, there turned out to be a lot more going on behind the scenes with the pro-life, anti-choice movie, as revealed in a separate report from The Daily Beast. As it turns out, cast and crew members have been dropping like flies ever since production on the project started on June 15.
Those who detailed the production of Roe v. Wade, which is currently filming under the title 1973, remained anonymous but the picture they paint is truly crazy. One crew member said, "When I read the first two pages, I was like what the f*** is this?" The movie will be dealing with the landmark Supreme Court decision made in 1973 that dealt with the criminality of limited access to abortions. Supreme Court justices will be played by Jon Voight, Robert Davi, Corbin Bernsen, John Schneider, Richard Portnow, Wade Williams, William Forsythe, and Steve Guttenberg in the movie. Stephen Baldwin and Kevin Sorbo, both noted political conservatives, were initially on board to play two of the justices but once they actually got the script in their hands, they immediately departed the project. Here's what another crew member had to say about the environment on set.
"They're not keeping people in the loop with the script. When people finally receive the script, they've dropped out really fast. After people started dropping out, they said, 'OK, don't send people the scripts anymore.' Instead, they've been changing lines and scenes before they shoot."
Alveda King, conservative commentator and niece of Martin Luther King Jr., is also a producer on the project but has been scarce during filming. The movie's director and first assistant director both reportedly quit on the first day of shooting. That left Nick Loeb and Cathy Allyn to step in and take the reigns. However, that created more problems as they are both inexperienced and have been keeping people in the dark. What was initially pitched to cast and crew members as a movie with a vaguely pro-life lean that would retell the Roe v. Wade decision from a different perspective turned out to be a severe anti-abortion piece. Once finding out about the true content of the movie, a costumer, location manager and several other members of the crew bailed. Many of those who are still involved view it as a paycheck gig. One crew member had this to say.
"I don't think there's a single crew member that thinks, 'Oh, this is a great idea for a movie,' it's just being treated as another job, but nobody really wants to go to work the next day. It's summertime and people need work. A lot of people have quit, a lot of people have been fired. The thing about quitting or being fired is they'd just find another person to do it."
Far right-wing conservatives Tomi Lahren and Milo Yiannopoulos have both been given relatively minor roles in the movie, at least in terms of screen time. Their inclusion has been kept secret from the rest of the cast. Lahren will play Supreme Court Justice Blackmun's daughter, Sally. She was a Planned Parenthood volunteer who challenges her father in the movie. Blackmun actually penned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision for the Supreme Court. As for Yiannopoulos, he's playing Dr. David Sopher, described as a British abortion doctor who invented the Sopher ovum forceps. His character, as portrayed in the movie, is "performing abortions and feels they don't matter."
Milo Yiannopoulos' scene hadn't been filmed at the time of the report, but it's is sure to be a majorly controversial sequence. The scene will feature Dr. Bernard Nathanson, an abortion doctor and co-founder of National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) who would go on to become an avid anti-abortion activist and will be played by Nick Loeb, who is described as "an Anglo-Jew from India, with an unusual habit of an awkward giggle at the end of every sentence." He will be watching Dr. Sopher perform 32 abortions between within a five-hour period. This is an alleged event Nathanson described in his book The Hand of God. Sopher reportedly says this to Nathanson in the scene.
"You blokes are missing out on a fortune over there in the colonies."
Production on the movie is expected to wrap on July 15. It's unclear if any changes will be made in light of the troubled production and departures of cast and crew members. Nick Loeb was hoping for a PG rating and a January release. The controversy and severe subject matter could certainly have an impact on distribution and the release strategy. Given the issues, it's possible this movie may never actually see the light of day. This news comes to us courtesy of The Daily Beast.