Ashley Judd, Neil Patrick Harris set to star in biopic on anti-gay activist
Actors Ashley Judd and Neil Patrick Harris have been roped in for a biopic on anti-gay activist Anita Bryant.
Titled "Anita", the film will be on the life of Bryant, the and singer who campaigned against local anti-discrimination ordinances in Florida, inadvertently igniting the gay rights movement.
Chad Hodge will write and direct, while Howard Rosenman and Darren Star will produce the project, reports variety.com.
Bryant was a singer and spokesperson for orange juice and the Florida Citrus Commission. She fronted a campaign in the late 1970s called 'Save Our Children' that advocated against rules prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, tanking her career in the process.
While researching the history, Hodge spent significant time with Bryant in her Oklahoma home, and that element is recounted in the movie. Harris plays Hodge as he meets Bryant, who is played by Judd.
"As a gay man and a writer who likes to explore complex, messy characters, I've always thought about Anita Bryant," Hodge said.
"How could this celebrity who espoused Christian goodness and orange juice through song suddenly use those platforms to go on a nationwide anti-gay crusade and overturn gay rights laws? I wanted to find out who Anita was, who the people around her were, and what everybody wanted out of this," Hodge added.
Principal photography of the film will start in September.