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HBO Max to Adapt Jake Tapper’s ‘Hellfire Club’

Fern Siegel

CNN anchor Jake Tapper’s bestselling book “The Hellfire Club” has been picked up by HBO Max, which will adapt the political thriller.

The streamer, which debuts May 27, has tapped Mark L. Smith (“The Revenant”) as the screenwriter.
“Hellfire Club” is a suspenseful tale about a Congressman and his wife caught up in the nasty political underworld of 1950s Washington, D.C., when Joe McCarthy’s Red Scare terrorized a nation.

Tapper is the CNN anchor for “The State of the Union” and “The Lead.” WarnerMedia is the parent of both CNN and HBO Max.

In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer on his book’s 2018 release, Tapper noted:

“What was true in 1954 is still true today. There’s a saying that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Roy Cohn, obviously, was going to be in the book. And the more I researched the era, the more the themes kept coming front and center. Abuse of power was rampant. The D.C. swamp. The demagoguery. And, most of all, ethical and moral compromise.”

Asked about Charlie, his book’s protagonist, Tapper added:

“I cover politicians all the time in Washington, and with Charlie, I wanted to explore what you see constantly here: How a person can come to Washington for all the right reasons, wanting to be a good person, and end up making deals with the devil.”

Tapper will also executive produce alongside Syndicate Entertainment’s Cliff Roberts.

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