"John's story is one of incredible heroism, of serving causes greater than his own self-interest," Cindy said

By Sean Neumann
January 13, 2021 12:49 PM
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John and Cindy McCain in 2008
| Credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty

The family of the Sen. John McCain said Wednesday they support an upcoming biopic about the late Republican leader's life.

"John's story is one of incredible heroism, of serving causes greater than his own self-interest," his widow, Cindy McCain, said in a statement. "There is no better time to tell it. I'm excited to share his life and legacy, and know this film will be a tremendous inspiration to people all over the world."

Deadline first reported that production company Stampede Ventures is behind the film, based on three books by Sen. McCain's friend and aide Mark Salter.

In a press release, Stampede Ventures said Salter will help write the script with The Good Wife producer Craig Turk, while Cindy will serve as an executive producer.

Sen. McCain died in 2018 from brain cancer at age 81. He ran against President Barack Obama in 2008 as the Republican Party's presidential nominee and he served 36 years in Congress representing Arizona, as a member of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

"I've been helping to tell John McCain's story for three decades," Salter said in a statement. "It will be a special privilege to work with Craig, Greg and the McCain family to tell it in film."

Sen. John McCain
| Credit: Lauren Burke /ABC via Getty

News of the McCain biopic comes in the final days of the presidency of Donald Trump, who infamously feuded with the late senator and continued to disparage him even after McCain died.

"Could there be a bigger contrast in how two people exited public life than the way John McCain left it and the way that Donald Trump is doing it now?" Salter told Deadline. "It's just worlds and universes apart."

Trump, 74, repeatedly attacked McCain before and after the latter's death more than two years ago — claiming as recently as last month on Twitter that the Navy veteran was "last in his class" and "one of the most overrated people in [Washington], D.C."

McCain was held captive for five and a half years during the Vietnam War. Trump, who has mocked McCain's imprisonment, avoided serving in Vietnam with a doctor's note citing bone spurs in his foot.

From left: Sen. John McCain and Meghan McCain
| Credit: Heidi Gutman/Walt Disney Television via Getty
From left: John and Cindy McCain in 2017
| Credit: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty

"Two years after he died, you still obsess over my dad," McCain's daughter, The View co-host Meghan McCain, tweeted at Trump in December.

Salter told Deadline this week that the upcoming film will come at a necessary time for the country.

"It's an unprecedented time we're in and this is the memory of a guy we witnessed who put America first," Salter said. "He was funny, profane, with all these dualities to his nature. He was romantic and cynical, an exhilarating guy to be around."

Salter added: "He [McCain] would be the first to tell you that he screwed up a lot in public and private life, but when the real crunch moments came, and his political career was where most got to see this, he would put the country ahead of himself."