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.
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...