ABC News' Sheila Marikar reports: What might Sarah Palin and Kevin Costner have had in common? Top billing in the Field of Dreams.
Today, Stephen K. Bannon, the filmmaker of the forthcoming documentary about the former Alaska governor, "The Undefeated," revealed that he wanted to debut the film in Iowa's (and Hollywood's) iconic baseball field.
"We tried to get the Field of Dreams but they just don't do these things," he told reporters after a Monday night screening in New York. Instead, he said the still-in-the-works premiere will happen in "a barn or a cornfield or a town square. It'll be the very Iowa-ness of the place."
After Iowa, "The Undefeated" will screen in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada before opening in AMC theaters nationwide on July 15. (That's the same day the latest "Harry Potter" installment comes out — "counter-programming," Bannon called it.) Whether or not Palin decides on her role in the 2012 race before then, Bannon believes she, and his film, will pervade the election.
"If she's not in, the spirit of her will be in this race," he said. "There's something brewing that she represents, and if she is not a candidate per se, the spirit of Governor Palin will definitely be there."
Indeed, "The Undefeated" paints Palin as a martyr, a woman who gave life to the tea party while getting beaten down by establishment politicians on both sides of the aisle. Savage scenes including a pack of lions tearing apart a zebra and a man being buried alive drive home the film's message that the former Alaska governor is a victim of unfounded attacks. In Bannon's view, the attention paid to the 25,000 Palin emails Alaska released last week added fuel to the fire.
"I'm not a woman's libber and I'm not a gender politics guy," he said. "But one has to look at the empirical evidence. And there's just something out there that this woman has had more beat downs than anybody."
But according to Bannon, the film, and particularly its title, is about more than Palin.
"The working title I started with was 'Take a Stand,'" he said. ("Take a Stand" was Palin's slogan during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign.) "As I started to make it, I realized it was about Governor Palin but it was also about the values she manifests — 'The Undefeated' is really kind of those working class, tea party values that the country's been built upon."
As for those who point out that Palin has been defeated in multiple elections?
"I want people to come out of this movie arguing and debating," he said. "That's what I want."