At the request of Palin, close aide, Rebecca Mansour approached Bannon after the November elections to get the wheels turning on the production. According to Conroy, the movie is set to premier next month in Iowa, before expanding into South Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire. Eventually, Bannon expects to release the film in 50-100 markets nationwide. They're also considering offering copies to SarahPac donors.
The weeks leading up to the release should be most interesting. I guess this is what she means by "unconventional!"
Shortly after Republicans swept last November to a historic victory in which Sarah Palin was credited with playing a central role, the former Alaska governor pulled aside her close aide, Rebecca Mansour, to discuss a hush-hush assignment: Reach out to conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon with a request. Ask him if he would make a series of videos extolling Palin's governorship and laying to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office with a year-and-a-half left in her first term. It was this abdication, Palin knew, that had made her damaged goods in the eyes of some Republicans who once were eager to get behind her potential 2012 presidential campaign.Read the entire article HERE. It's very long, but well worth the time.
The response was more positive than Palin could have hoped for. He'd make a feature-length movie, Bannon told Mansour, and he insisted upon taking complete control and financing it himself -- to the tune of $1 million.
The fruits of that initial conversation are now complete. The result is a two-hour-long, sweeping epic, a rough cut of which Bannon screened privately for Sarah and Todd Palin last Wednesday in Arizona, where Alaska's most famous couple has been rumored to have purchased a new home. When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin's prospective presidential campaign -- an unconventional reintroduction to the nation that she and her political team have spent months eagerly anticipating, even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won't run.
Although Palin is not interviewed directly, the film features on-camera interviews and commentaries from 10 Alaskans who played different roles in her political rise, as well as six Lower 48 denizens who defend her in more visceral terms, including prominent conservative firebrands Mark Levin, Andrew Breitbart and Tammy Bruce.
Divided into three acts, the film makes the case that despite the now cliched label, Palin was indeed a maverick who confronted the powerful forces lined up against her to achieve wide-ranging success in a short period of time. The second part of the film's message is just as clear, if more subjective: that Sarah Palin is the only conservative leader who can both build on the legacy of the Reagan Revolution and bring the ideals of the tea party movement to the Oval Office.
In the last couple of months, Palin has delivered major policy speeches, hired a chief of staff, made a well-publicized foreign trip that included a visit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, all the while remaining consistent about her vow -- first made just days after the 2008 campaign ended -- that she would "crash through" any of the "open doors" that might lead to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Bannon intends to premiere the film in Iowa late next month before expanding the release to New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. After the initial rollout in the four early voting states, the filmmaker will eventually release it to somewhere between 50 and 100 markets nationwide.
But coming on the heels of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's decision not to join the fray, many grassroots conservatives are clamoring for a candidate who has both the stature and the sizzle to compete with President Obama.
If she does decide to run, "The Undefeated" will be the key element to her initial coming-out party. The film's impending release -- and the frenzied media attention that it is sure to generate -- will serve as a vivid wake-up call that despite the many obstacles in front of her, Palin's entry into the race would turn the campaign on its head in an instant, just as it did in 2008.
As she mulls her decision in the coming weeks, the other Republican candidates in the field will be left to prepare for a hibernating grizzly who appears poised to rise up once again.