The fact-based film chronicles Fox News’ women — including Kidman’s Gretchen Carlson, Theron’s Megyn Kelly, and Robbie’s composite character, Kayla Pospisil — and their numerous sexual harassment allegations against the channel’s late CEO, Roger Ailes.
The clip begins as Carlson attempts to blow the whistle on the patriarchal culture at the media organization, laying out various claims of misogyny while those around her doubt the validity of her accusations. Later, Kelly grapples with Donald Trump accusing her of “anger-menstruating,” as she puts it, while Pospisil attempts to segue her position as a producer into an on-air personality at the news network.
“I could pluck you out and move you to the front of the line, but I need to know that you’re loyal,” John Lithgow’s Ailes tells her. “I need you to find a way to prove it.”
Subsequent footage shows Ailes engaging in questionable activity behind closed doors, while Carlson shouts that “someone has to speak up, someone has to get mad,” before filing a harassment lawsuit against her former boss.
“It’s a strange and frustrating reality that I can’t partake in any of these projects based on my settlement, which is why I’m working so hard on Capitol Hill so that nobody else has to be handcuffed anymore,” Carlson recently told EW of the film. “It’s frustrating cause I can say, ‘Hey wait a minute, you know, that was my life!’ But the trailer got a tremendous amount of attention and for me, that’s what this is all about. In the end, I can’t participate, but it’s all about continuing the dialogue.”
Theron, Kidman, and Robbie also appeared on Tuesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where they discussed their involvement with the project (and their real-life counterparts).
“We used a lot of source material in finding this story and also spoke to a lot of women who were a part of this story. Some of them are still working at Fox, some of them didn’t really want their names out there. As a team, we decided to protect our sources,” Theron told DeGeneres, adding that Kelly hasn’t yet reached out to her regarding the project, though she’s “fully aware of the film.”
“I’m really hoping that she’ll see it,” Theron added. “We want everybody to see it who’s involved in this story.”
Bombshell is expected to be a major player in the upcoming awards race, as all three of the film’s lead actresses received near unanimous praise from movie critics and industry attendees at the film’s first public screening in Los Angeles over the weekend. The film hits theaters on Dec. 20. Watch the new trailer above.