Terry Rossio and Dr. Jocelyn Stamat acquired the rights to the Dr. Andrew Wakefield book, “Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines – The Truth Behind A Tragedy” for a feature adaptation. The book featured a foreword by Jenny McCarthy.
Both will produce the project through their Chamaeleon Productions banner and also secured Wakefield’s life rights.
“Dr. Wakefield is clearly a polarizing figure, reviled by the general public yet also revered by many. The details and drama surrounding his life are even more remarkable than generally known,” said Rossio in making the announcement.
The book was published in 2010 and explains the key events surrounding the 1998 paper published in the British medical journal the Lancet that investigated a potential link between chronic enterocolitis and neuropsychiatric dysfunction in 12 children, whom most had received vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella. It asserted that the vaccines were linked to autism.
The paper had a controversial life sparking new debates about growing autism. In 2010 the Lancet retracted the piece after there were accusations of misconduct against the co-authors and falsifying information in the study. This led to the revocation of Dr. Wakefield’s medical license.
Dr. Wakefield recently released the controversial documentary “Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe,” which was to be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival but was then rejected. Tribeca co-founder Robert DeNiro said in a statement: “We have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program. We have decided to remove it from our schedule,” adding that they didn’t believe it it contributed to or furthered the discussion he had hoped for about issues surrounding autism.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no link between vaccination and autism. The CDC hoped to put an end to the anti-vaccination movement after new cases of mumps and measles were reported.