EXCLUSIVE: The actor is going from the supernatural on the small screen to the controversial world of cults on the big screen. Orlando Jones and his Drive-By Entertainment partner Noam Dromi have optioned the rights to cult deprogrammer Ted Patrick’s story. Jones and Dromi intend to write the screenplay as a starring vehicle for the actor who is currently finishing up his second season as Captain Frank Irving on the Fox hit Sleepy Hollow. Jones and Dromi will produce the feature with docu filmmaker Tracy Funches. .
Prominent in the 1970s, Patrick was known as the “father of deprogramming” and seen as savior to many parents who had seemingly lost their children to cults. The Special Assistant for Community Relations for then Governor Ronald Reagan, the civil rights activist’s life was upended when his 14 year-old son was nearly converted by the Children of God cult. Subsequently, Patrick reached out to those families with relatives who had joined the group. As described in his book Let Our Children Go, Patrick even pretended to join Children of God to learn how they operated. Despite professional training, Patrick was hired by parents and family members to help deprogram their loved ones. Patrick’s methods found him standing trial several times on kidnapping charges – a part of his technique he ceased though he continued trying to deprogram cult members like those who had joined Scientology. Patrick was convicted on a number of felony charges over the years due to his methods.
Jones formed Drive-By in 2008 with Dromi coming on board in 2011. The Sleepy Hollow actor is repped by Paradigm, 723 Productions and attorneys Nina Shaw and Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finelstein & Lezcano.