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New Yorker’s ‘Doubt’ bought by United Artists

United Artists this week agreed to option the screen rights to a New Yorker magazine story that ran less than a month ago.

Titled “A Reporter at Large: Doubt,” the story by staff writer William Finnegan was printed in the mag’s Jan. 31 issue.

The report chronicles the criminal trial and conviction of Martin Kaplan, who stood accused of robbery and assault on the subway, and the reporter’s growing doubt of the verdict’s truth.

Finnegan’s story focuses on the judicial process and where it may prove insufficient. As a member of Kaplan’s jury, he gradually starts seeing the criminal justice system from a different angle.

“I wanted to learn more about a real story, the fuller, truer tale that we jurors, with a man’s freedom hanging on our judgment, had been forced to guess at lamely,” Finnegan said in a release.

“The comfortable gulf between juror and accused, journalist and subject, cheerful audience and characters in torment had suddenly filled with ordinary sympathy, and even this referred distress was shockingly intense.”

The property was originally brought to UA by screenwriter Jay Presson Allen, who will also adapt the property for the screen. Allen has penned classic pix like “Cabaret,””Prince of the City” and “Death Trap.”

Irene Webb from International Creative Management handled the sale to UA, which is said to have beat out several majors and webs for the story.

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