“Making a Murderer” filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos are set adapt the serialized Huffington Post article “America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker” for TV. The project is the first under a new first-look deal between Sonar Entertainment and George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures.
Written by journalist Steven Brill, “America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker” tells the story of a a division of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson that created a powerful antipsychotic drug and marketed it aggressively to children and the elderly, while allegedly withholding data about its terrible side effects. Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay more than $2 billion in penalties and settlements, but sold a reported $30 billion worth of the drug worldwide.
Nicki Paluga will adapt the article to series with Ricciardi and Demos, with the latter two directing. The scripted event series does not yet have an episode count.
The project and the deal with Sonar are part of a continued effort by Smokehouse to push into television. The company is already developing “Ms,” a miniseries about Gloria Steinem and the founding of Ms Magazine, at HBO, and “The Studio,” about a movie studio in the 1990’s, Showtime.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be in business with George and Grant and their talented team at Smokehouse,” said Sonar CEO Thomas Lesinski. “Smokehouse has a stellar track record of delivering commercial and critically acclaimed content. Smokehouse will be a great partner for Sonar Entertainment, as the two companies align perfectly in our approaches to premium TV programming.”