The 1998 American comedy-drama film Primary Colours was helmed by Mike Nichols. The novel Primary Colours: A Novel of Politics, a roman à clef about Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign in 1992, was initially published anonymously but in 1996 it was revealed that the author was journalist Joe Klein, who had been covering Clinton’s campaign for Newsweek. Elaine May’s screenplay was adapted from this book. John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Maura Tierney, Larry Hagman, and Adrian Lester were among the cast members.
Despite receiving excellent reviews, the movie only made $52 million at the box office on a $65 million budget. For their respective performances, Bates and May both received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.