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FOX Adapting 'The Run Of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson' For The Screen

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by Tambay A. Obenson
March 20, 2013 5:16 PM
6 Comments
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Curious...

From a press release touting its development slate, the Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) announced today that it has inked development deals for two drama projects from FX Productions. One of them is titled The Run Of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson.

It's stated that title is a tentative one.

The project comes from Nina Jacobson (producer of the successful The Hunger Games franchise) and Brad Simpson (producer of the upcoming World War Z, starring Brad Pitt) and is based on legal journalist Jeffrey Toobin’s best-selling book of the same name. 

So with a behind-the-camera team like that, this should be a high-profile project to pay attention to as developments happen.

The other project announced is an adaptation of Shogun, based on the best-selling novel by James Clavell - a story set in feudal Japan, told from the perspective of British sailor John Blackthorne, who rises from outsider to samurai.

Regarding the O.J. Simpson project, here's what FOX had to add:

There are few truly unifying events in American life. When something happens that makes the entire country stop and take notice, we remember it forever. Everybody remembers where they were when O.J. Simpson, riding in a white Bronco, led the police on a low-speed chase all over Los Angeles. This marked the emergence of the 24-hour news cycle and the birth of reality television. Written by Golden Globe Award winners Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (“The People vs. Larry Flint,” “Man on the Moon,” “Ed Wood”), THE RUN OF HIS LIFE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON (working title) will take viewers behind the scenes of “The Trial of The Century,” driven by the nonstop plot of a courtroom thriller and presenting the story of the trial as it has never been told. 

Toobin's non-fiction book (which the film will be based on) was published in 1996. At the time, he was writing for The New Yorker, and covered the trial of O.J. Simpson for the magazine. His coverage was said to be the first to focus on the fact that race was at the heart of the entire thing.

The book is a result of Toobin's reporting, based on his unprecedented access to sources on all sides, providing a well-rounded picture of the trial - the prosecutors, defense attorneys, private eyes, waiters, dog walkers, cops, ex-football stars, TV personalities, forensic experts, and so many others.

He also offers insight into the larger questions raised by the case - including the importance of celebrity, race (and the way it's manipulated in the media), domestic violence, the efficacy of the jury system and more.

So, by all accounts, this could be a Traffic-like project that looks at the case from a variety of different perspectives.

No word on whether this will be a mini-series, or a feature film. But since it's Fox Broadcasting announcing the news, me thinks it's headed to one of the company's TV subsidiaries - likely on cable, like the FX network.

The obvious first question is, who will play O.J. Simpson?

Place your bets now...


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6 Comments

  • Joan Adrienne | March 21, 2013 12:55 AMReply

    I could be totally off base but, for some reason, I can see Columbus Short, who played "Little Walter" in "Cadillac Records" and is now co-starring in the ABC hit series, "Scandal." While he is a bit more low-key in the series, if he could show some of the arrogance and ego that he so brilliantly portrayed in "Cadillac Records", I believe he could be a convincing O.J. Simpson.

  • Miles Ellison | March 20, 2013 10:30 PMReply

    Fox made a movie about this during the trial. Other than the fact that lots of people watched the circus, there wasn't anything "unifying" about this at all. Since the trial was such a hot button for white racial resentment, they'll probably cast Ryan Gosling in blackface.

  • sandra | March 20, 2013 6:51 PMReply

    Verdict: Not Interested

  • J. Fred Muggs ("Vootie") | March 20, 2013 6:41 PMReply

    There's really only one man on earth who can play O.J. with any truth. That man is: CHARLIE MURPHYYYYYYYYYYYY!

    Darkness! Darkness is in the house!

  • KikiDee | March 20, 2013 6:17 PMReply

    Get an unknown/up and coming actor to play O.J. Even after all this time, I don't see a "name" actor wanting to lend his face to this project. If the money is right I guess but... no. If I had to pick it would be Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs or maybe Isaiah Washington.

  • miktal | March 20, 2013 5:40 PMReply

    Anyone excpet Terence Howard. His voice just drives me up the wall.
    Also, before the crush comes in, my verdict: Guilty

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