In a competitive situation, with multiple film and TV producers pursuing, Aaron Kaplan and his Kapital Entertainment, along with Tracy Katsky through her pod deal with Kapital, have landed the rights to William J Mann’s best-selling book Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, And Madness At The Dawn of Hollywood.
Based on extensive research, including recently unsealed FBI files, Tinseltown is set Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties. Described as a true tale of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry, the book centers on the famously unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, with Mann laying out his theory who the killer was.
Kaplan and Katsky plan to adapt Tinseltown as a cable drama series, with Season 1 chronicling the Taylor murder and the scandal that surrounded it, set against the backdrop of censorship and the emergence of the movie business. Followup seasons would likely focus on subsequent decades in Hollywood, starting with the 1930s.
Mann, repped by APA, is a well known Hollywood chronicler who has previously written Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn; How to Be A Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor In Hollywood; Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand; and Wisecracker: The Life And Times Of William Haines. Tinseltown, published by HarperCollins, is his latest book, which came out last month to strong reviews.
Katsky first teamed with Kaplan in May when she launched a production company and set it up at Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment as a pod. The two recently extended the deal for another year after a successful first selling season that netted Katsky six comedy sales.