EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has tapped Taraji P. Henson to star in its next original movie, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story. While the network has being able land big-name feature talent for its recent biopics, Shirley MacLaine in Coco Chanel and Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen in Georgia O’Keeffe, getting an Oscar-nominated actress like Henson to headline one of the ripped-from-the-headlines films is a major coup for Lifetime. But the true story which Taken From Me is based on is also atypical for Lifetime’s brand of MOWs as it blends family drama with elements of a spy thriller.
It centers on Tiffany Rubin’s daring 2008 rescue of her seven-year-old son Kobe worlds away. Kobe had been the subject of a custody dispute between Rubin and her ex-husband, a South Korea native. In the summer of 2007, after a visit to his father’s Brooklyn apartment, Kobe was whisked away by him to South Korea. With little help from the authorities and no money to hire a private investigator, Rubin, a public school teacher in Queens, turned to Mark Miller, founder of the non-profit organization The American Association for Lost Children. He located Kobe in a town near Seoul and he and Rubin traveled there, launching a survailance operation to chart Kobe’ daily schedule. After a careful planning, one day Rubin went into her son’s school and was able to snatch him. The two, along with Miller, ran to the U.S. Embassy before being able to return home safely. Taken From Me is produced by Front Street Pictures. Annie Carlucci and David Rosemont will executive produce, with Damon Lee as co-executive producer. Gary Harvey will direct from a script by Michael Bortman and Elizabeth Hunter. With Taken From Me, Henson, an Oscar nominee for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, follows in the footsteps of another Oscar nominee, Sigourney Weaver, who toplined another Lifetime movie based on a true story, the 2009 Prayers for Bobby. It also reunites Henson with Lifetime where she co-starred on the drama The Division from 2003-04. Henson was recently seen in Date Night and The Karate Kid.