DreamWorks Acquires Film Rights to The Bully Pulpit

DreamWorks Studios has closed a preemptive deal to acquire the film rights to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin’s soon-to-be-released book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.

It was announced Wednesday by Stacey Snider, Partner and Co-Chair at DreamWorks Studios.

Goodwin previously collaborated with the studio on the Lincoln, based in part on Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.

Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit will be released Nov. 5, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. The book, seven years in the making, tells the riveting story of two longtime friends who become bitter political opponents.

Roosevelt’s fighting spirit and impulsive temperament stood in counterpoint to Taft’s deliberative, conciliatory disposition.

Yet, their opposing qualities proved complementary, allowing them to create a rare camaraderie and productive collaboration until their brutal fight for the presidential nomination in 1912 divided them, their families, their colleagues, and their friends. It split the Republican Party in two, and altered the course of American history.

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, The Bully Pulpit
Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, The Bully Pulpit

“Doris has once again given us the best seats in the house where we can watch two dynamic American personalities in a battle for power and friendship,” said Steven Spielberg.

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Spielberg and Goodwin previously worked together on Lincoln, based in part on Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, with a script by Academy Award-nominated writer Tony Kushner.

This new project expands upon that winning combination. Lincoln earned 12 Academy Award nominations, including an Academy Award for actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln, and box office grosses of over $270 million.

“Working with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks on Lincoln seemed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Doris Kearns Goodwin. “I cannot imagine anything better than the prospect of working with them again, this time to bring Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft to life.”

Goodwin, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, is also the author of the bestsellers Wait Till Next Year, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream and The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, which was adapted into a five-part TV miniseries.

Doris Kearns Goodwin was represented in the deal by ICM.

DreamWorks Studios is a motion picture company formed in 2009 and led by Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider in partnership with The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group based in India.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman