The highly sought life rights to Peter Leonard, a man with a third-grade education who gained national recognition when he won a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, have been granted to indie producer Alan Shapiro (“The Crush”).
Leonard, who is supported by Social Security disability payments, food stamps and welfare, won his seat this year after spending only $31 for posters and $12 in filing fees. Jaws dropped when he came from behind to defeat the incumbent in the state capital of Manchester. After pieces ran in the New York Times, People magazine and on “Good Morning America,” Leonard was deluged with calls from producers and studios seeking his life rights.
“I just called him up and asked him out for coffee, jumped on a plane and went to New Hampshire,” Shapiro said. “Here’s this guy who is uneducated in the art of cunning and was thrown into the snakepit of politics. To me, it’s a true ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ story.”