Cohen Media Group has acquired movie rights to Edward Ball’s “The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures.”

Story, published earlier this year, focuses on the relationship between motion picture pioneer Eadweard Muybridge and industrialist and politician Leland Stanford, who hired Muybridge to prove the theory that a horse will have all four feet off the ground as it gallops. Muybridge’s photos proved the theory and marked an early form of motion pictures when the inventor showed his images on a projector he created.

At the time of his work with Stanford, the middle-aged Muybridge married a divorcee half his age,  discovered a drama critic may have fathered their baby son and shot the man point blank. At his murder trial, Muybridge was acquitted on grounds of “justifiable homicide” after Stanford had arranged for his defense.

CMG topper Charles S. Cohen made the announcement at Cannes: “Eadweard Muybridge’s great accomplishments are well known, but his life story has faded over time. Edward Ball’s remarkable book brings Muybridge and all his uniqueness back to life, and we are thrilled to be able to bring his story to the screen.”

Cohen negotiated the deal with ICM Partners, which reps Ball.