Brett Ratner and John Cheng are producing for RatPac Entertertainment. Johnson will serve as an executive producer under her Silhouette Productions.
Amazon won a bidding war for the rights to Melissa London Hilfers’ spec script, based on Adam Cohen’s 2016 book “Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck.”
Buck was the plaintiff in 1927 Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell, which she lost. She had been sterilized three years earlier at the age of 18 under a Virginia law that legalized sterilization of “undesirable” citizens. Buck died in 1983 at the age of 76.
“Like many, I was not privy to this shocking and fascinating moment in American history,” Johnson said. “I quickly became obsessed with the prospect of shedding light on the massive misstep in American justice. Carrie Buck’s story is poignant and galvanizing, and certain aspects are unnervingly congruent with the relationship between the government and women today. It is an important story that alongside RatPac and Amazon, I am honored and eager to tell.”
Ratner said in a statement: “Dakota had told me about the book ‘Imbeciles’ at a lunch last year, and when John Cheng and I read the spec script, we sent it to her immediately. I couldn’t be more thrilled be involved in this project with Dakota and Amazon, because I know Amazon’s passion and enthusiasm for telling this story is just as strong as Dakota’s. Although this story took place almost a hundred years ago, the subject matter is unbelievably timely.”
The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.