The trailer for the upcoming film “Spotlight,” a film based on the 2002 Boston Globe series investigating abuse in the Catholic Church, was released today. The film is slated to open in theaters Nov. 6, less than two months after Pope Francis will make his first visit to the U.S.
The Open Road film, based on the true story behind the Pulitzer Prize-winning series, is directed by Thomas McCarthy and will be shown at the Toronto and Venice Film Festivals in September. It stars Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci and Brian D’Arcy James.
“We’ve got two stories here,” Keaton says in the trailer, portraying Walter “Robby” Robinson, editor of the Boston Globe’s investigations unit, a team called Spotlight. “A story about degenerate clergy and a story about a bunch of lawyers turning child abuse into a cottage industry. Which story do you want us to write? Because we’re writing one of them.”
Schreiber will play Marty Baron, who was the editor of the Boston Globe at the time and is now The Washington Post’s executive editor. In 2003, the Globe won the Pulitzer Prize for meritorious public service. Baron said those who worked on the Globe story spent “countless hours” with the film’s director and co-screenwriter Josh Singer from “West Wing.”
“I’m enormously pleased with how it has all worked out,” he wrote in an e-mail, saying he has screened the film. “They conducted a huge number of interviews and examined seemingly every document meticulously. It was all very impressive. From the start, it was clear that they aimed to capture how this story unfolded with authority, clarity and sensitivity. I see the film as an ode to investigative reporting, and I think it does an excellent job of capturing the process.”
Baron said he was “flattered and gratified” Liev Schreiber was cast to play him. “He’s a major talent, of course. Good thing, too,” Baron said. “He had a ridiculously challenging character to portray.”
Baron is notoriously reserved — some say impenetrable — with a dry sense of humor and a blunt, no-nonsense management style.
The Globe’s investigative series, which drew international attention, documented how cardinals and bishops in the Boston Catholic Archdiocese had covered up the sex abuse of children by priests. In the Boston Archdiocese alone, an estimated 200 priests abused children, according to the Globe. Three Globe reporters wrote about their role in the series in anticipation of the film.
“You made history this past year,” Baron told Globe reporters in 2003. “And you made the world a better and safer, and more humane place.”
Requests for comment from the Archdiocese of Boston were not immediately returned Wednesday.
The film will join several other movies featuring journalists, including the 1976 film “All the President’s Men” about The Washington Post’s investigation of President Richard Nixon’s campaign.