Martin Scorsese’s plan to film a documentary on Bill Clinton has apparently stalled over the former president’s attempts to control filming due to concerns it could reflect poorly on his wife Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign.
The New York Times reported Friday that the already partially-filmed documentary hit a roadblock when the former president insisted on having approval over interview questions and other aspects of the film. According to unnamed sources, Scorsese balked at the prospect.
“Clearly, the film carried the risk that an unflattering camera angle, unwelcome question or even an obvious omission by Mr. Scorsese would become a blemish to Mr. Clinton’s legacy or provide fodder for Clinton critics as the 2016 campaign approaches,” the Times’ Amy Chozick and Michael Cieply wrote. “Apparently to avoid such problems, people close to Mr. Clinton sought to approve questions he would be asked in the film, and went so far as to demand final cut.”
The Clintons’ daughter, Chelsea Clinton, also reportedly factored into the brouhaha over the movie. She recently left her high-paying job at NBC News and “was expected to figure in the documentary in some way, and some in the Clinton circle had speculated that she would be credited as a producer.”
Spokespeople for the Clintons denied the various parts of the Times report, but the impasse is nevertheless notable because parts of the film were already shot over the last two years, including on Bill Clinton’s philanthropic trips to Africa.
“Scorsese clearly had a soft spot for the Clinton project,” Chozick and Cieply wrote.
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