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Clinton, Monica Lewinsky scandal being turned into an HBO movie

March 25, 2009 | 11:34 am

White House intern Monica Lewinsky hugging President Clinton at a Rose Garden eent

Just when you thought it was safe to deep-six that needlessly salacious Ken Starr report and offer your Clinton-era black beret to the Salvation Army, word comes that Hollywood is resurrecting the so-last-century Monica Lewinsky scandal in a movie.

"The Special Relationship," an HBO special, is actually about the frustrated efforts of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to form a working relationship with President Clinton, who seemed increasingly distracted by the fallout from the scandal. For those who have blissfully forgotten what all that fuss was about, Clinton was accused of having sex with Lewinsky, a 22-year-old White House intern, in the Oval Office and then lying about it to Congress, a grand jury and his wife (now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton), not necessarily in that order.

Dennis Quaid has been tapped to play Clinton with Julianne Moore as the first lady. Playing Blair and his wife Cherie: Michael Sheen and Helen McCrory. As for Lewinsky, filmmakers say they will use archival news footage. Screenwriter Peter Morgan, who wrote "Frost/Nixon," makes his directorial debut in this film, which he also wrote. Still looking for funding, Morgan told the UK's Daily Express:

Everything that happened pre-9/11 is now Jurassic history, and we've completely forgotten it and therefore to explore what happened 10 or 15 years ago is really, really interesting."

See what you think of the casting.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bill Clinton to be played by Michael Sheen and Dennis Quaid in HBO's The Special Relationship

-- Johanna Neuman

Top photo: President Clinton hugs Monica Lewinsky. Credit: Associated Press

Bottom photos: Tony Blair, left, President Clinton, actors Dennis Quaid and Michael Sheen. Quaid is slated to play Clinton and Sheen will portray Blair. Credit: Martin Argles / Rex Features