Apple Votes No on Haberman Trump Project
➕ The Academy weighs a Paul Haggis expulsion
Ed note: Richard Rushfield’s regular column will resume next week.
What do Trump books have in common with Kari Lake and Dr. Oz in Hollywood? Nobody wants 'em. Our sister publication, The Optionist, has learned that the hottest Trump book out there — Maggie Haberman’s Confidence Man — was quietly optioned by Apple months ahead of its publication, but, recently, the streamer decided not to pick up the project in development (a rep for Apple declined comment). Haberman, who got her start covering New York City politics for the New York Post before eventually landing at the New York Times covering national politics in 2015, makes the case in the book that the best way to understand Trump’s political career is to understand his early life in Queens and his career as a developer in the city.
Published in early October, Confidence Man quickly hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and sold about 100,000 copies in its first month (by comparison that’s about 10x the sales of Peter Baker and Susan Glasser’s Trump book, The Divider, which published two weeks ahead of Confidence Man). But even with that success, contemporary political topics increasingly have become radioactive in Hollywood’s current climate. “Honestly no one in Hollywood really seems interested in touching the subject,” says one well-known writer/producer. “The Brits did Boris Johnson (starring Kenneth Branagh) but we can’t seem to face the fact that we elected [Trump] president.”
Haberman and her book agent did not respond to request for comment.
(Tomorrow’s Optionist will have more about Trump/January 6th books in Hollywood, plus a look at what non-Michael Lewis crypto projects are in development around town.)
Haggis in Academy Hot Water
The Ankler has learned that the Academy is currently “looking into” what to do with member Paul Haggis now that a New York civil court has ordered the Academy Award winner to pay $7.5 million to Haleigh Breest, a publicist who had accused him of rape, following a jury’s ruling that found him liable for committing sexual assault. Yesterday, the court hit him with an additional $2.5 million in punitive damages.
An Academy spokesperson tells The Ankler: