After the huge success of writer Peter Morgan's (The Queen, The Last King of Scotland) stage show Frost/Nixon, Ron Howard battled against a long list of big-name directors, including Martin Scorsese and George Clooney, to take on the task of creating the feature film adaptation.
But one of the conditions Howard put forward was that he would only be involved in the film if Frank Langella (Richard Nixon) and Michael Sheen (David Frost) from the stage show were cast.
And it's the subsequent chemistry between the two actors on screen that makes for an explosive head to head.
Based on the real events of the infamous interview between David Frost and ex-President Richard Nixon in May, 1977, the film delves deep into the lives of the two men. We witness David Frost as a successful British journalist making a name for himself in Australia and Richard Nixon is enduring a humble existence which has become increasingly tiresome with endless public speaking appearances.
With little pressure to come out of his comfort zone, Frost decides to take a big step in his career and embarks on a journey that everyone advises him against: interviewing Richard Nixon to get a scoop on the whole Watergate affair.
After securing the interview for a highly inflated premium, which Frost had to partially fund, he is left frozen out of any TV deal as no broadcaster in America is willing to purchase it for transmission. This doesn't hinder Frost's desire to carry on regardless, even if financially and critically this whole event could be disastrous.
With both camps desperate to make sure they come out on top, Frost is surrounded by a crack team who know the best method of attack against Nixon. And Nixon himself, already experienced in the art of being media savvy as a world leader, is guided by his team to elaborate on each positive point and avoid divulging too much information regarding sensitive matters.
Nixon saw this as the perfect opportunity to prove to the American public that not everything he did in office was bad. He believed he could outsmart Frost in this battle of wits, leading the general public to seeing him as an honourable man once again. Inevitably something had to give.
It's understandable that the notion of a film based around two people talking for hours on end may not appeal to many, but the film is much more than that. The build-up to the actual interview process leaves us in a position knowing that both participants are going into battle, ready to play hardball.
The months of preparation come down to four two-hour slots, with Watergate being only a small part of one of the sessions. Something that is made clear on several occasions to Frost. And as the time begins to tick away, the game of oneupmanship begins.
The reasons why this film succeeds are the raw subject matter and some phenomenal acting.
The fact that any political misdemeanour since Nixon's days in office has adopted the suffix of 'gate' highlights the magnitude of the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon's fall from grace.
Sheen's portrayal of David Frost is brilliant as he plays the self-assured journalist with an increasing sense of humility. The look on his face after two of the interview sessions have passed, leaving Nixon looking like a hero, shows pure desperation. And Langella, who has won a hat-full of awards for his role on Broadway and London's West End, is magnificent as the 37th US President. His stance, delivery and forthrightness helps him to carve out the character of Nixon, and add a little bit of extra charisma to the iconic man.