EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has acquired Boston Strangler, a thriller pitch about the desperate search for the murderer who terrorized the Boston area during the early 1960s. Kevin McCormick‘s Warner-based Langley Park shingle will produce, and the pitch was bought from Casey Affleck and fellow Boston native screenwriter Chuck Maclean. Affleck hopes to star as one of the detectives who were part of the Strangler Squad responsible for solving the crime, and he will be exec producer.
The script will be written by Maclean, whose script Bridges On The Fort Point Channel made the 2011 Black List and who is writing Storming Las Vegas for Summit. With a tone similar to Se7en and Zodiac, they will cover the most haunting unsolved serial murder story in U.S. history. While Albert DeSalvo was convicted of crimes unrelated to the Boston Strangler case, the public was spun to believe he was the man behind the 13 gruesome murders of women in Boston for over a year and a half. There is still belief that more than one killer was involved, and that DeSalvo was a pawn in a bigger conspiracy. The movie follows an ambitious detective who is willing to risk career and life in a race to bring down the most notorious sexual predator of the day, while battling a political cover-up by corrupt politicians and lawyers trying to save their careers. Boston pols were desperate for a conviction; the early murders centered on older women living alone, but when police found a 21-year old victim, the public panicked. Soon, guns and door locks became scarce in Boston and pressure grew to end the hysteria by locking up someone.
Langley Park produced Gangster Squad, the Ruben Fleischer-directed drama that Warner Bros releases January 11. McCormick is separately producing the stage musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which director Sam Mendes premieres June 25 at London’s Drury Lane Theatre. Langley Park recently acquired the Jo Nesbo novel The Son, and the Robert Hobbs novel Ghostman. Maclean’s repped by Oasis and CAA; Affleck, who’s writing to direct a film about Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton for Relativity Media, is repped by WME.