EXCLUSIVE: OBB Pictures has optioned the life rights of Michael Clegg, the Catholic priest who became a prolific dealer of MDMA, a drug he would later dub Ecstasy as he saw it as a conduit to God. The company is teaming with 3 Arts Entertainment to develop a limited scripted TV series based on his story, with OBB’s Michael D. Ratner, Scott Ratner and Eric D. Cohen set to executive produce alongside 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Jonathan Berry, and Jay Shore and Jordan Kronick.
OBB’s Elias Tanner will lead development and produce alongside Shore and Kronick, who have done extensive interviews and have hours of recordings with the reclusive Clegg, who went from taking MDMA as a theraputic drug in the mid-1970s to giving it away for free as his personal mission to bring users closer to God. As the drug exploded in popularity in the 1980s he was producing 500,000 pills a month and became a kingpin, and eventually a fugitive on the run from the DEA.
“Michael Clegg’s story is complex and improbable at every turn, but the stakes of sticking to your faith in spite of your own failures are as relatable as it gets,” said Michael Ratner,
OBB’s president and CEO. “This story will make for a dark and funny drama that highlights the twisted complexities of mixing religion and drugs through a unique, multi-faceted character.”
On the TV side, OBB is in the midst of the third season of the YouTube series Cold as Balls starring Kevin Hart and in post-production on the Jeff Ross-fronted Historical Roasts for Netflix due out later this year. It is also developing Michael Konick gambling memoir The Smart Money as a dramedy series.
Michael Ratner and OBB are repped by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson. Shore is repped by Myra Model Management and Hansen Jacobson.