Ecstasy Origins Movie in the Works

Dori Oskowitz has signed on to direct an untitled independent film exploring the origins of the global rave movement in 1980s Dallas during the era of legal ecstasy, known as “Molly,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Richard Stratton has come aboard to write the screenplay. He co-wrote and produced “Slam,” which won both the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and Camera d’Or Award at Cannes, and was the showrunner of the Showtime series “Street Time.”

Braxton Pope will produce in the wake of producing “The Trust,” starring Nicolas Cage. Former NBA player Steve Nash and Ezra Holland of Meathawk Productions will executive produce along with Prettybird Pictures.

Dallas-based music producer Wade Randolph Hampton (known as DJ WishFM) will be involved in the project.

“I am excited to bring this remarkable story and piece of cultural anthropology to the screen with my partners at Meathawk and Prettybird,” said Pope. “Dori is a skilled visual storyteller with a narrative sensibility and with his extensive music background is the perfect choice to explore this world.”

Oskowitz directed the EDM documentary “Blackout” for Vice and was nominated for a Grammy for his Jack White video “I’m Shakin.” He has worked on musicvideos with Pharrell, Cee-Lo, Lenny Kravitz, Wiz Khalifa, Ke$ha, Raphael Saadiq, Leon Bridges and a Devendra Banhart short starring Natalie Portman.

Pope produced Oskowitz’s Passion Pit video “Constant Conversations,” which featured Peter Bogdanovich, Taryn Manning and Analeigh Tipton.

Legal ecstasy in the 1980s Dallas scene fueled a social phenomenon in places such as gay discotheques, yuppy house gatherings and Southern Methodist University fraternity parties. The movement vanished after ecstasy became illegal in 1985.

“Having played in Dallas for six years, I was drawn to this project for its relationship with the city,” said Nash. “After poring over the material I found an incredibly unique story with so many vibrant characters and a bold history known as the origin to the rave scene ecstasy culture. Its footprints are now all over the world.”

Stratton authored the novel “Smack Goddess” while incarcerated for conspiracy to import marijuana and hashish. He was released after serving eight years.

Oskowitz is represented by UTA. Stratton is represented by the Glick Agency. Nash and Holland are represented by WME.

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