Fox Nation, Daily Wire, and the Rise of Conservative Film Production

Ben Shapiro speaking in 2018 at Young Women’s Leadership Summit | Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

The conservative streaming service, Fox Nation, will debut its first in-house fiction production, a film called The Shell Collector, on September 1st of this year. This announcement follows a rising trend of right-leaning production houses like The Daily Wire Plus, who are looking to tap into a possibly neglected audience in America.

This first film for Fox Nation is based on Nancy Naigle’s book of the same name and will star Caitlin Clarke, Jennifer Higgin, and Day of the Dead star Christopher Russell.

Fox Nation’s press release called the production a “heartwarming story” about a widowed mother of two children named Amanda Whittier who meets some interesting characters in a small seaside town. Whittier is looking for a fresh start in her life following the tragic death of her husband.

Fox Nation’s romance with Christmas.

Fox Nation launched in 2018 but mainly featured non-fictional and infotainment programming that mostly echoed the type of shows seen on the Fox News channel.

Until now, there was little in the way of fictional entertainment shows except for reruns like Highway to Heaven and some original Christmas movies that outside companies producedSome of those titles included Christmas in the Pines, Christmas in the Wilds, and Romance in the Wilds. 

In 2020, Fox Nation debuted its first holiday movie Christmas in the Rockies, which featured on-brand cameos by Fox & Friends fixtures Ainsley Earhardt and Steve Doocy (who, lately, might be a little off-brand by criticizing the GOP’s rhetoric about the FBI).

Three more in-house original films are planned for release over the next year; each featuring a holiday season theme.

Is conservative entertainment on the rise?

Another conservative rising production star is Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire Plus, which recently launched various movies and non-fiction pieces for streaming customers. Daily Wire started their movie journey also in 2020 when they acquired the Cinestate thriller Run Hide Fight which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival (but not as part of the competition).

Since then, they have gone on to specifically hire “canceled” Hollywood talent to create new projects. They even put it at the top of their landing page for movies:

Hollywood is broken. It’s time for a clean slate.

The strategy for Daily Wire and Fox Nation may go beyond just owning the Libs. With over 70 million voters in America choosing Donald Trump, there is unquestionably an appetite for ideas and stories that don’t fit the woke model.

Yet is the answer a kind of ideological tit for tat? One of the biggest criticisms from the Right about Hollywood ‘wokeism’ is that films frequently include an ideological (Leftist) or otherwise propagandist (social justice) slant. So, is doing the same thing in reverse the solution? At least Daily Wire Plus is utterly up-front about their agenda.

Not all the productions featured on either of these streaming channels are likely to be entirely ideologically on-brand. But with the gauntlet being thrown down so dramatically on DWP’s main page, it’s hard to imagine that anything viewed on the channel will be considered as anything but Rightist first, artistic second.

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