EXCLUSIVE: Amblin Partners has set Michelle Dean to pen Stolen Time, its biopic telling the incredible true story of wrongfully convicted death row inmate Sonia “Sunny” Jacobs. Juliet Blake is producing; she is Head of Television at TED and previously produced The Hundred-Foot Journey with Amblin. Amblin Partners’ president of production Holly Bario will oversee on behalf of the studio.
The studio recently acquired film rights to the riveting and timely story of Jacobs, who was in her 20s when she and her husband, Jesse Tafero, were convicted of the fatal shooting of two law enforcement officers based on the false testimony of the man who actually committed the murders. Sources tell Deadline that as part of the development process, Dean and Blake are reviewing over 2,500 personal letters sent between Jacobs and Tafero during their 15-year incarceration.
A literary and investigative reporter-turned screenwriter and producer, Dean is best known for her work as co-creator, executive producer and writer of Hulu’s The Act. Patricia Arquette earned Emmy and Golden Globe wins for her performance in the series, while star Joey King earned nominations from those same groups.
Dean’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New Republic, The New York Times Magazine and Elle, and her first book, Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion, was published in 2018. She was honored in 2016 with the National Book Critics’ Circle’s Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.
She is represented by WME, Kaplan Perrone and attorney Lev Ginsburg.