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Catholic Church's Sexual Abuse Uncovered: Thomas McCarthy's Secret Project, Gibney's 'Mea Maxima Culpa' at Film Forum

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 19, 2012 at 5:03AM

Director Tom McCarthy ("Win Win," "The Visitor," "The Station Agent") and "The West Wing" scribe Josh Singer have signed on for Anonymous Content's film about the journalist who exposed the Catholic Church's longterm cover-up of child molestation in Massachusetts.
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Mea Maxima Culpa
'Mea Maxima Culpa'

Director Tom McCarthy ("Win Win," "The Visitor," "The Station Agent") and "The West Wing" scribe Josh Singer have signed on for Anonymous Content's film about the journalist who exposed the Catholic Church's longterm cover-up of child molestation in Massachusetts. Turns out McCarthy has been secretly working on the project for over a year due to the subject matter. The Boston Globe writers behind the story, who blew the cover off the worldwide scandal, won a Pulitzer Prize. They are: Spotlight Team members Michael Rezendes, Sacha Pfeiffer and Matt Carroll, Spotlight Team Editor Walter "Robby" Robinson, Special Projects Editor Ben Bradlee Jr. and Globe Editor Marty Baron.

AC producers Steve Golin and Michael Sugar, along with Nicole Rocklin and Blye Faust have secured the rights.

Variety reports that while no studios or financiers have been exposed to the project, at least one A-list actor has shown interest.

McCarthy is an excellent director who has proven his skill and sensitivity in his first three features. This will be a hot project  --and likely to ignite Awards speculation--once casting is underway.

Meanwhile, Alex Gibney's HBO doc "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God" is set for its US theatrical debut at Film Forum on November 16.  The film also exposes sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, this time from Wisconsin to Ireland to the Vatican itself. At the center of the film is Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused over 200 children at Milwaukee's St. John's School for the Deaf. He taught there from 1950-1974, and was named head of the school five years after the church had first been alerted to the abuse.

Kirby Dick's "Twist of Faith" dealt with the same subject matter and was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar in 2005. This year, his "Invisible War" will likely contend in the same category.

This article is related to: IN THE WORKS, News, News, Alex Gibney, Directors, Politics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.