Created by: All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
Directed by: Steven Zaillian
Written by: Steven Zaillian
Produced by: Ken Lemberger, Todd Phillips, Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Steven Zaillian
Other cast: Sean Penn, Jude Law, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earle Haley, Anthony Hopkins
Release date: September 22, 2006
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Running time: 128 minutes
In the 1950s, in Louisiana, the smart populist, manipulative and wolf hick Willie Stark (Sean Penn) is elected Governor with the support of the lower social classes. He joins a team composed of his bodyguard and friend Sugar Boy (Jackie Earle Haley); the journalist from an aristocratic family Jack Burden (Jude Law); the lobbyist Tiny Duffy (James Gandolfini); and his mistress Sadie Burke (Patricia Clarkson), to face the opposition of the upper classes. When the influent Judge Irwin (Sir Anthony Hopkins) supports a group of politicians in their request of impeachment, Stark assigns Jack to find some dirtiness along the life of Irwin, leading to a tragedy in the end.
The movie was a major flop and, despite its strong cast and production team, grossed only $9.4 million worldwide on a budget of $55 million. Forbes Magazine voted it the biggest flop in the years spanning 2005-2009. Few critics endorsed it, despite it garnering strong Oscar buzz before its premiere. Director Steven Zaillian described the experience as “like getting hit by a truck”.
In the same year, Kate Winslet and Jude Law appeared in The Holiday (2006).
Writer, Producer, and Director Steven Zaillian never saw All the King’s Men (1949), and adapted the screenplay solely from Robert Penn Warren’s novel.
The World Premiere took place at Tulane University’s McAlister Auditorium in New Orleans, Louisiana.