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Film Based on Atwater Bio Planned (AP) ...Atwater died of a brain tumor in March 1991. Actor Jay Mohr, known for his roles in ``Pay It Forward`` and ``Jerry... - Nov 25 3:18 PM ET

Al Musella's Comments: (This is his personal views and are not necessarily the views of the Musella Foundation!)


Posted on: 11/27/2001

Film Based on Atwater Bio Planned

By The Associated Press,

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Lee Atwater's intense, often abrasive way of navigating through the political scene will be featured in a movie about the pioneer of modern day attack politics.

Barry Katz Entertainment and Ritz/Wilson Productions are developing the film based on "Bad Boy," John Brady's unauthorized biography of the late South Carolina political strategist. Atwater died of a brain tumor in March 1991.

Actor Jay Mohr, known for his roles in "Pay It Forward" and "Jerry Maguire," will star as Atwater.

"This is not going to be a low-budget movie," said Brian Volk-Weiss, who heads the film department of Katz Productions. "It's something that's got to be done right. We want to try to add as much authenticity as we can."

Atwater became involved in politics during his freshman year at Newberry College, when he volunteered in one of Strom Thurmond's Senate races. He ran his own political consulting business from 1974 until the 1980 presidential elections.

He convinced state GOP leaders in 1979 that South Carolina could bolster its Republican party by holding an open, early primary election. It helped elect Ronald Reagan (news - web sites) in 1980.

Atwater was deputy director in 1984 for President Reagan, and master planner of President Bush (news - web sites)'s 1988 campaign against Democrat Michael Dukakis.

He later had a born-again religious experience and apologized shortly before his death to political adversaries he had wronged.

"This is genuinely an American story," Volk-Weiss said.

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