MOVIE IDEA: "THE PRESIDENT'S FAV"
A biopic about Jon Favreau, who at age 27 became President Obama's head speechwriter. Think of this as "The King's Speech" for millenials. Old people will read the title as "fah-vh" which is correct, young people will read "fay-vh" and boom here we go.
- •It's May 2003 in Worcester, Mass. Exams are over at the College of the Holy Cross and commencement will take place in a few days. We're at a house party where our main character, Jonathan E. Favreau (left, played by Skylar Astin, right), is next on the beer pong table and holding court.Jon is chatting with a pretty girl standing beside the table. "You see, in life everything will come down to the things you say and the things you do." [Takes aim, Livestrong bracelet on his wrist, makes first cup, teammate gets one, balls back] "The trick will be to have the things we do back up the things we say. Front cup, island." [Sinks cup, makes many more shots, announces plans to start a job in DC after graduation]
- •Summer, 2003. A Massachusetts native, Jon scored a job working for his Senator, John Kerry. On his first day at campaign HQ Jon is shown to a cubicle where he is tasked with collecting talk radio news. Montage of Jon, working his way up the ladder, ultimately becoming Deputy Speechwriter.January 2004, a bunch of the Kerry staffers are eating late-night at a diner in Iowa. Jon shushes the table as a small TV across the restaurant broadcasts Howard Dean's famous scream. Montage of Kerry campaign gaining traction, winning primaries, clinching the nomination. The convention is set to convene the day after Lance Armstrong wins his 6th Tour de France.
- •July, 2004. The Democratic National Convention is held at the FleetCenter (now TD Garden) in Boston. Jon watches from backstage as then State Senator Barack Obama takes the stage for the keynote address of the convention."...the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him too." Obama gets the crowd on its feet with his message about the audacity of hope. Favs listens with rapt attention. After a brief handshake with Obama and before returning to DC, Jon visits his parents in North Reading, Mass. He tosses the baseball around in the backyard with his dad, and the two talk about Obama's speech.
- •Fall, 2004. Jon's Red Sox win the World Series, Kerry loses the presidential election, Obama is elected to the U.S. Senate. 2/3 ain't bad.Obama aide Robert Gibbs, who had worked for Kerry's campaign, recommended that Obama meet with Favreau. His interview was on the Senator's first day in 2005. The two chat about their favorite presidents, great American writing, and baseball. Obama isn't sure he needs a speechwriter, and Favreau evokes the "Ted Williams batting coach" line for the first time. Montage of Favreau earning Obama's trust through a series of late nights. The two attend a Red Sox-White Sox game in Chicago.
- •November 5, 2008. Senator Barack Hussein Obama will become the 44th President of the United States.The lead up to the election will be a series of shots of Favs and Obama looking through speeches, walking the hallways of campaign HQ, generally crushing it on the campaign trail. Real Sorkin-type stuff. The scene where Obama gives his acceptance speech will be quiet, so we can focus on Jon's face and the faces of the crowd. The background noise crescendos as the President-elect finishes his speech, and the crowd gathered in Grant Park erupts in applause.
- •January, 2009. Jon attends the Obama for America Staff Ball at the DC Armory. Jay-Z perfoms a "99 Problems But a Bush Ain't One" and among those in the audience are Chicago-born music legend Quincy Jones and his daughter, actress Rashida Jones.Couldn't find a lot online about how they met but they started dating in early 2009. Jones campaigned for Kerry in Ohio in 2004, so let's assume they'd met before. Imagine the two run into each other at the bar. Jones had just finished filming "I Love You Man" where Hollywood Jon Favreau had a minor role, and they share a laugh about which one is "the other Jon Favreau." They make plans to see each other again before Jones flies out, and go on to date for several years.
- •April 30, 2011. Favs, fellow speechwriter Jon Lovett and David Axelrod are called to the Oval to run through the President's jokes for the White House Correspondents Dinner. POTUS is in good spirits, tossing a football around, but wants to remove "bin Laden" from the punchline of one of the jokes. "It's been played out," he says.Hosted by Seth Meyers, the night is a huge success. Obama's Trump jokes got huge laughs, and the speechwriting team went out after to celebrate. Around 1:00am, SEAL Team 6 takes out Osama bin Laden. The following day, Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer gets an email while at the movies (he saw "Fast Five") asking him to come to the White House, and calls Favs on the way out of the theater. (Link: https://soundcloud.com/channel33/ep-100-keepin-it-1600-with-jon-lovett#t=44:00)
- •November 6, 2012. The electoral votes for Ohio come in, and President Obama has won it. Romney calls to concede. Cut to Jon backstage at Grant Park in Chicago, mouthing along to the words he helped craft:"I believe we can keep the promise of our founding, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight...you can make it here in America!"
- •January, 2013. Jon sits with a contemplative look in his office, watching on his computer screen as Lance Armstrong admits to Oprah he was doping all those years. Jon gets called into the Oval Office, where he pulls an envelope out of his jacket pocket, his letter of resignation.Jon announces his intention to move to LA and pursue screenwriting. He and former Assistant Press Secretary Tommy Vietor are also thinking about going into business together. Maybe he'll see if there's still a connection with Rashida. The President accepts his resignation, but pulls out a pen. "One last edit," Obama says. "I need you until March 1st." Favreau replies, "I serve at the pleasure of the President." The two start discussing next month's State of the Union address as we fade to black.
- •Credits. Story by Tom Lynam. Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. Directed by Jon Favreau (the director, not the speechwriter).