Two major production companies have purchased the rights to the Boston Globe story of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal that was broken by the paper 10 years ago.
DreamWorks Studios and Participant Media announced their acquisition Tuesday, expressing the intention to create a drama with Tom McCarthy tapped to direct and co-write with Josh Singer.
Holly Bario, DreamWorks President of Production, said in a statement that the story by the Globe was extremely important both for Massachusetts and eventually the global community.
"The Boston Globe's coverage of the Catholic priest scandal opened the door to a bigger story that had worldwide ramifications," said Bario. "The story of how this team of editors and reporters came to uncover the truth will make a dramatic and compelling film, especially with the talents of our director Tom McCarthy and his co-screenwriter Josh Singer on board."
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, told The Christian Post that the news of the rights purchase meant DreamWorks was becoming part of "a losing project."
"Films about the sexual abuse of minors have all flopped – there is no market for such fare. People want to be entertained when they go to the movies, and there is no entertainment value in these flicks," said Donohue.
"DreamWorks has done some fine work, and I was a consultant to 'The Prince of Egypt;' I respect for Jeffrey Katzenberg, whom I dealt with."
Donohue also told CP that if "the film sticks to Boston alone, which admittedly was a pretty sick archdiocese, that may not be a problem."
"But if it swings widely, painting all priests and bishops as miscreants, then it would be engaging in Catholic bashing. So we'll see," said Donohue.
According to Mike Fleming Jr. of the website deadline.com, this will be the sixth collaboration between DreamWorks and Participant. The most recent project between the two was Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning film "Lincoln."
Ten years ago, a team of reporters at the Globe documented a decades old cover-up by the Boston Archdiocese of pedophile priests. Through their research they interviewed victims and sifted through hundreds of pages of documents. Their stories won them the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003.
The scandal would eventually go global, with similar findings elsewhere. Since that time, calls for reform within the Vatican on dealing with the sex scandal have led to both improvements in accountability and calls by victims for more action.