Focus Features is putting into development Paradise, with Oscar-nominated and Emmy winner Matthew Heineman to set to direct and write the script. The project is based on true events of the 2018 Camp Fire, which burned down the small town of Paradise during the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history. Temple Hill is producing along with Heineman. Josh McLaughlin will serve as EP.
Focus optioned the life rights for Heather Roebuck, her fiancé Bret Harles and their children, as well as Butte County emergency medical workers Sean Abrams, Mike Castro, Shannon Molarius and Robin Cranston, who ended up becoming impromptu firefighters as the group became trapped by the fire.
Roebuck gave birth via C-section minutes before the hospital was ablaze. Powerless to move her legs and separated from her newborn and fiancé, she set on a journey through Paradise to find them.
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Heineman, who last year debuted his narrative feature film debut A Private War, starring Rosamund Pike, has won two DGA Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary and was nominated for a DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First Time Feature Film Director. Heineman and Martin Scorsese are the only filmmakers ever nominated for both narrative and documentary DGA Awards.
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