State of Play is a 2009 American political thriller. It is a film adaptation of the critically acclaimed six-part British television serial State of Play, which first aired on BBC One in 2003. The film was directed by Kevin Macdonald from a screenplay written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Tony Gilroy, Peter Morgan, and Billy Ray.
The film tells of a journalist's probe into the suspicious death of a Congressman's mistress. Russell Crowe plays the journalist and Ben Affleck plays the Congressman. The supporting cast includes Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Jason Bateman, Robin Wright Penn, and Jeff Daniels. The plot of the six-hour serial has been condensed to fit two hours, and the location changed to Washington, D.C. Macdonald said State of Play is informed by the films of the 1970s, and explores the topical subjects of journalistic independence and the relationship between politicians and the press. It was released in North America on April 17, 2009.