Today in history, October 3, 1995, in California, a verdict is reached in the murder trial of one O.J. Simpson. Simpson is found not guilty of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ronald Goldman. 2 years later, a civil trial found Simpson liable for the murders, ordering him to pay out millions of dollars.
With the 20th anniversary since Simpson was charged with the murders of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman a year away (June 2014), this year has seen some renewed film and TV interest in the life of O.J. Simpson, as well as the murder trial.
It was in March that FOX TV announced it had inked a development deal for a drama project based on Jeffrey Toobin’s best-selling book titled, The Run Of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
By all accounts, it sounded to me like a Traffic-like project that will look at the case from a variety of different perspectives.
The project comes from Nina Jacobson (producer of the successful The Hunger Games franchise) and Brad Simpson (producer this year’s World War Z, starring Brad Pitt).
So with a behind-the-camera team like that, this should be a high-profile project to pay attention to as developments happen.
And a few months later, in July, it was announced that another O.J. Simpson project was in the works – this one a feature film, aimed for the big screen.
Forsport Enterprises revealed that the company was set to launch production on a film titled An American Mystery, for which they are planning a major theatrical release in the summer of 2014, again, likely to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Simpson’s arrest and charge for the murders.
To be directed by Joshua Newton, the $65 million project (yes, you read that figure correctly), according to the press announcement, “has the capacity to challenge entrenched attitudes on a topic that has inspired visceral reactions for almost a generation… Our goal is to lay bare the facts and have the audience reach their own conclusions.“
The press release also stated that Nicole Brown-Simpson will be played by Charlotte Kirk, whose first major big screen role will be alongside Liam Neeson in the upcoming actioner, Non-Stop, which will be out next February.
The obvious question here is: who will play O.J. Simpson? Actually, who will play O.J. Simpson in both projects – the TV mini-series, and the feature film?
No word on casting for either at this time, although I wonder if this is a role that will be desired by actors in contention. Simpson has arguably been one of the most hated men in America (at least by white people primarily) in the last 20 years – a fact that the actors who are eventually cast to play him on the big and small screens might take into consideration as they’re signing their contracts.
But it’s a job like any other, and a paycheck!
In most recent news, Simpson, who is currently serving a 33-year sentence for armed robbery, reportedly tried to smuggle cookies into his cell after lunch, from the cafeteria of the Nevada prison where he’s doing time – something which is apparently strictly forbidden.
The Nevada Parole Board recently granted Simpson parole on some charges related to the robbery, but ordered him held for the next four years.
I wonder if the cookie theft will be in either the TV miniseries or the feature film.