OK, it’s not President of the United States but it’s almost as good
Post-Presidential campaign Hillary Rodham Clinton is living her best life.
She’s writing books and travelling the world feting them. She’s sitting front row at all the sold-out Broadway shows, from Hello Dolly to The Color Purple. She’s going for hikes in the woods and putting hot sauce on everything.
And now she’s nabbed herself a new job working with Steven Spielberg in the movie business.
Clinton is set to adapt The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight To Win The Vote by Elaine Weiss, a non fiction narrative recounting the suffragette movement in America in the years 1919-1920, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Clinton will serve as executive producer on the project, alongside Spielberg, turning the book into a television movie or limited series that will be pitched to both traditional television channels like HBO and streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Apple. Clinton will play an integral role in finding a director and screenwriter as well as a complete cast.
This is Clinton’s first foray into the world of show business and she couldn’t have chosen a more fitting project. Weiss’ book, which was released earlier this year, focusses on the true stories of those who fought to help ratify the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote.
Unlike Suffragette, the 2015 Carey Mulligan film, The Woman’s Hour tells the stories of real women involved in the push towards suffrage in America.
That includes women like Louise Havemeyer, a woman with an immense sugarcane fortune living in a Fifth Ave mansion who funded suffragettes on the sly and wound up in jail. Or women like Carrie Catt and Alice Paul, both outspoken suffragettes with their own chequered relationship with women’s rights.
Clinton, who is referenced by name in the very last pages of the book, was drawn to Weiss’ work because of the comparisons she saw to her own career.
“At the heart of democracy lies the ballot box,” Clinton said in a statement. “Elaine Weiss’ unforgettable book tells the story of the female leaders who – in the face of towering economic, racial and political opposition – fought for and won American women’s right to vote.”
Clinton didn’t happen upon Weiss’ book by chance. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Weiss was writing the book when the 2016 Presidential election unfolded, and when the book was finally in stores earlier this year she knew that Clinton needed to read it.
After a period of scheming a bookshop owner offered to be Weiss’ mule, and hand-delivered the book to Clinton herself. She was immediately impressed and met both Weiss and, later, Spielberg to clinch the adaptation rights.
The 70-year-old believes that the story is relevant across all age groups and all genders. “So much could have gone wrong, but these American women would not take no for an answer,” she said. “Their triumph is our legacy to guard and emulate.”