BREAKING: DreamWorks Studios and Participant Media have acquired feature film rights to the story of the Catholic Church’s decades-long cover-up of its pedophile priests in Massachusetts. The scandal was uncovered by a year-long investigation by the Boston Globe. Tom McCarthy has signed on to direct and co-write the script with Josh Singer. Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar and Steve Golin and Rocklin/Faust’s Nicole Rocklin and Blye Faust will produce. David Mizner, who originally brought the project to the producers, will serve as a consultant and associate producer. King and Jeff Skoll will serve as executive producers.
Life rights have been acquired to the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight Team” of reporters and editors, including then-Globe editor Marty Baron, special projects editor Ben Bradlee Jr., Spotlight Team editor Walter “Robby” Robinson and reporters Michael Rezendes, Sacha Pfeiffer, and Matt Carroll. The team spent a year interviewing victims and reviewing thousands of pages of documents and discovered years of cover-up by Catholic Church leadership. Their reporting eventually led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law who had hidden years of serial abuse by other priests and opened the floodgates to other revelations of molestation and cover-upsaround the world which still reverberate today. For their efforts, the Globe team won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003.
This will be the sixth collaboration between DreamWorks and Participant, most recently teaming for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. In addition to The Visitor, McCarthy wrote and directed The Station Agent, Win Win and Up. He also scripted The Million Dollar Arm for Disney, which will star Jon Hamm. He is repped by the Gersh Agency and attorney Andrew Hurwitz.
Josh Singer wrote the Wikileaks drama The Fifth Estate for DreamWorks, which was directed by Bill Condon and will be released later this year. A veteran TV writer, he has worked on such shows as The West Wing, Law & Order: SVU, Lie To Me, and Fringe. Singer is repped by WME and Anonymous Content.