Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates, and Sam Waterston will join Felicity Jones in the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic, On The Basis Of Sex.
Ginsburg, now 84, is a U.S. Supreme Court judge and only the second woman ever appointed to the position (after Sandra Day O’Connor). 2018 will mark the 25-year anniversary of her 1993 appointment by then-president Bill Clinton, and the film will be released that year to honor the special benchmark.
The Theory of Everything star Felicity plays the young Ruth who excelled in her law class at Harvard University despite being one of only nine women enrolled alongside about 500 male students. She later struggled to find employment in either the academic or business fields as sex discrimination was then prevalent in the legal world.
The film’s director Mimi Leder tells Variety, “Our story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg resonates with me on so many levels – from the inspiring partnership she found in her marriage, to overcoming adversity as a woman and discovering the strength of her own voice, to her empathetic commitment to those in need of a voice no matter their gender, race, status, or religious beliefs.”
She continues, “In these tumultuous times, stories like this speak to the heart of humanity and remind us what it means to lead with love and compassion as the way forward.”
Armie Hammer will portray Ginsburg’s lawyer husband, Marty, and the film will cover the first landmark gender discrimination case which came before the Supreme Court. In United States v. Virginia in 1996, Ruth wrote the decision which held that the Virginia Military Institute could not refuse to admit women.
The Leftovers star Justin will play Mel Wulf, a longtime national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) where Ruth worked in the 1970s as Director of the Women’s Rights Project.
Already a defender of women’s rights based on her own struggles, she argued six gender cases in total for the ACLU before being appointed a judge at the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980 by then-president Jimmy Carter.
Misery actress Kathy Bates, meanwhile, will portray attorney and activist Dorothy Kenyon. Law and Order legend Sam Waterston will play Erwin Griswold, Solicitor General of the United States during the administrations of Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in the ’60s and ’70s.
The film’s script is written by Ginsburg’s nephew, Daniel Stiepleman.