Warner Bros. is developing a movie about illegal painkiller trafficking, buying movie rights to John Temple’s upcoming book “American Pain.”
Warner-based Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter are producing for Berlanti’s company. Racheline Benveniste is overseeing for the studio.
“Dallas Buyers Club” writer Melisa Wallack has been hired to write the screenplay.
The full title of Temple’s upcoming book is “American Pain: How a 27-year-old Felon and Five Doctors Unleashed the Deadliest Drug.” Globe Pequot/Lyons Press plans to publish the book in the spring.
The book chronicles the recent rise and fall of a painkiller trafficking ring, named after the American Pain clinic in Florida.
It will also detail the lax regulation of painkillers and how medical associations, politicians and federal agencies have refused to fight the $8 billion industry at a time when prescription opiates have overtaken car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.
The American Pain clinic, along with East Coast Pain and Executive Pain, was owned by 29-year-old twin brothers Christopher and Jeffrey George. A criminal investigation disclosed that American Pain had five primary physicians working full-time in 2009 and administered more than 2 million of the highly addictive oxycodone pills.
The George brothers pleaded guilty in 2011 to racketeering charges and were each sentenced to more than 15 years.
Berlanti produced and wrote “The Green Lantern” and the upcoming Peter Pan origins movie “Pan.” He’s the executive producer and creator of The CW’s “Arrow” series.
Temple is an associate professor at West Virginia University.
The Warner Bros. deal was made between Shari Smiley, now with the Gotham Group, on behalf of Jacqueline Flynn at Joelle Delbourgo Associates.
Melisa Wallack is repped by Anonymous Content and WME.
The news was first reported by Publishers Marketplace.