July 19, 2010 / 9:15 PM / 9 years ago

John Edwards film may unearth new details on scandal

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “The West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming film adaptation of a book about John Edwards’ downfall could contain new information about the sordid saga, says the book’s author.

Democrat John Edwards looks down during a speech announcing he would withdraw his candidacy for president in New Orleans, Louisiana January 30, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Celano

Andrew Young told the Hollywood Reporter that he could provide Sorkin with heretofore-unknown details he kept out of “The Politician: An Insider’s Account of John Edwards’s Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down.”

“There was a ton of stories I could have put in there but didn’t because I couldn’t prove it,” Young said. “That’s something we’re going to work through. There’s a whole other side of the story that’s never been told.”

Young wouldn’t elaborate on the untold stories, nor would he comment on whether the Rielle Hunter sex tapes he’s being sued over could make an appearance in the film. The attorneys for Hunter, the mother of Edwards’ baby, claim Young stole the tapes and that their client should share in profits from the book.

Young said he hasn’t heard anything yet about potential casting for Edwards or any of the other principal characters in the film, though he’s getting plenty of suggestions. He recalled with amusement a blog that recommended Young himself be played by “Mad Men” hunk Jon Hamm. “I said, ‘I think that guy should be very insulted,’” he joked.

Young said he turned down as many as eight different offers to adapt his book from “reputable” writers and filmmakers he declined to identify, until Sorkin won him over with his intent not to focus the film entirely on the tawdrier aspects of his story.

The writer-director wooed him and his wife, Cheri, by drawing parallels between Young’s book and his previous politically themed projects, including “The West Wing,” “An American President” and “A Few Good Men.”

“He was the last thing I expected: very genuine, very down to earth and very unlike anyone else we worked with in Hollywood,” Young said. “He was very caring and we have a couple of issues with trusting people with what we’ve been through.”

Young hooked up with Sorkin through their mutual agent, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment chief Ari Emanuel, the brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Young admitted to being a neophyte when it comes to the movie business, but said his contract allows him to have “significant input” in the script; he says Sorkin told him to expect lots of e-mails.

“All they’ve told me is that it will be fast-tracked,” said Young, who declined to discuss financial terms. “This is going to be his (Sorkin’s) primary focus now.”

Now Young is bracing for a big-screen depiction that he realizes won’t be terribly flattering. Though he pines for some degree of normalcy to return to his life, he knows that won’t happen anytime soon.

As Young recounted, Sorkin told him, “Andrew, I’m going to do a lot of things for you, but I’m sure your life isn’t going to go back to normal,” he said. “If you think the book was a big deal, the movie is going to be 100 times bigger than that.”

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