Sounds like HBO has lost a viewer for its upcoming political biopic “Game Change.”
Sen. John McCain — whose 2008 presidential campaign gets the dramatization treatment in the film — asserted on Saturday that he has no intention of watching the film, which premieres on the network March 10.
“This new movie that comes out, (people) ask me if I’m gonna watch it,” the Republican senator from Arizona said during a campaign stop for current GOP candidate Mitt Romney. “I tell them it’ll be a cold day in Gila Bend, Ariz.”
(For those not familiar with the local terrain, Gila Bend — pop. 1,870 — is in Maricopa County, Ariz. Its average maximum temperature in July is 106 degrees Fahrenheit.)
McCain is played by Ed Harris in the biopic, which is based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Julianne Moore plays McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin. Woody Harrelson and Ron Livingston also star.
Perhaps not surprisingly, “Game Change” has already drawn its fair share of detractors. Last week, a number of current and former Palin aides derided the movie’s portrayal of the former Alaska governor as “sick” and inaccurate, despite the fact that the film has not yet been released for their viewing. (A short trailer for the film, however, has been released online.)
HBO responded to the criticism last week with a statement asserting that “Game Change” is “a balanced portrayal of the McCain/Palin campaign.
“The events depicted in ‘Game Change’ have been thoroughly sourced by not only Heilemann and Halperin’s bestselling book, but also through our own research including extensive first person interviews with those involved with the campaign,” the statement continues. “HBO has a long track record of producing fact-based dramas, and our mantra has always been, ‘get the story right.’ We stand by our movie and we hope that people will withhold any judgment until they have viewed the film.”