EXCLUSIVE: Former Paramount and Participant Media exec Chris Salvaterra and indie producer Dan Abrams’ upstart Katonah Pictures banner has optioned the life rights of Sarah Weddington along with her memoir A Question of Choice.
In 1971, at the age of 26 and fresh out of law school, Weddington found herself arguing her first federal court case. The venue was the United States Supreme Court, and the case was Roe V. Wade, the landmark decision that declared anti-abortion laws unconstitutional and has been highlighted by Time as one of the “80 Days That Changed the World.” Even now, Weddington is believed to be the youngest person ever to argue in front of the Supreme Court. The film focuses on how Weddington, in way over her head, won her first and only court case with repercussions that reverberate just as loudly today as they did back then.
In a statement, Salvaterra and Abrams said: “We believe this is a phenomenal story that will attract top-tier talent. Sarah’s narrative is part Erin Brockovich, part The Verdict, part The Paper Chase – and the backdrop is one of the defining, most volatile and hotly contested issues of our time.”
Katonah Pictures recently produced the Summit Entertainment release Gone, and their next film is the Brittany Snow-starrer 96 Minutes, which will be released by Arc Entertainment in April. Salvaterra and Abrams have been friends since seventh grade and named their company after their hometown. Before they formed, Salvaterra worked on the Paramount projects The Last Airbender, School of Rock 2 and Mighty Mouse, and Syriana, North Country, Good Night and Good Luck, Fast Food Nation, The Kite Runner and The Visitor at Participant. Abrams worked for Walter Cronkite’s documentary television production company, contributing to award-winning programs for The Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel. He has produced films such as Knots and Kill Theory, as well as the History Channel docu The People Speak.