With Pope Francis now installed and working to give the institution and church as a whole an overhaul and a bit of a friendly face, Hollywood is coming around and promising to let them off so easy. Alex Gibney‘s recent documentary Mea “Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” has spurred all kinds of debate, Ridley Scott is currently gearing up to shoot the pilot for the Showtime series “The Vatican,” but perhaps most of all, “The Visitor” and “Win Win” helmer Tom McCarthy is ready to bring one of the worst chapters in the faith’s history to the mulitplex.
DreamWorks has paired with Participant for McCarthy’s brewing sex scandal movie, first announced last fall. He has been working with writer Josh Singer (“The West Wing,” “Fringe“) for over a year on an “All The President’s Men“-style drama that will center on the journalists at the Boston Globe — Michael Rezendes, Sacha Pfeiffer and Matt Carroll, Spotlight Team Editor Walter “Robby” Robinson, Special Projects Editor Ben Bradlee Jr. and Globe Editor Marty Baron (their life rights have been obtained) — who discovered and exposed that Cardinal Bernard Law, America’s Senior Catholic Prelate, was protecting priests accused of assault, by moving them to different parishes, where they offended again. No doubt, it was an explosive story and the reports (which you can read here) won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003.
This is tremendously touchy material, but McCarthy seems like the right pair of hands to guide it through what will be some tough dramatic waters. There’s no start date yet or cast, though an A-list name was apparently kicking the tires even before DreamWorks came on board. It’s another recent lightning rod movie that the studio has backed, as they also has the Julian Assange tale “The Fifth Estate” slated for later this year (also penned by Singer). Given how safe studios tend to play, it’s kind of nice to see DreamWorks shake loose a bit. But this will be a project definitely worth keeping an eye on. [Deadline]