×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bill Baird Birth-Control Rights Movie ‘Privacy’ in Development (EXCLUSIVE)

A movie about activist Bill Baird, a pioneer in the birth-control rights movement in the United States, is in the works at Branded Pictures Entertainment and Corstoria, Variety has learned exclusively.

The project, tentatively titled “Privacy,” will focus on the 1972 Eisenstadt v. Baird U.S. Supreme Court case legalizing birth control for single people nationwide and solidifying privacy as a constitutionally protected right. The case is the single most-quoted case in Supreme Court history, cited over 50 times and serving as the basis for 1973’s Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion, and in 2003’s Lawrence v. Texas, legalizing gay sex nationwide.

“This is a cinematic tale and a compelling character study of a man physically and emotionally abused from all sides who, despite living under constant threat of violence and who was arrested eight times in five states, sacrificed everything in a single-minded pursuit of getting the U.S. government out of Americans’ bedrooms,” said Branded Pictures Entertainment CEO J. Todd Harris.

Jameson Rich, director of development for Corstoria, said, “As a millennial who’s frustrated and frightened at the current shift in our national discourse and political direction, I believe that Bill’s story is a timely, instructive example of how one individual can affect social change. It will resonate with audiences across generations.”

Baird is serving as an adviser on the project. He was a medical school dropout who was working as clinical director at a pharmaceutical contraceptive company in 1963 when he was making a routine call to Harlem Hospital and witnessed the death of a woman from a self-attempted coat hanger abortion. The woman, a mother of nine, died in his arms.

“I vowed then to help my fellow poor gain access to the same rights and care that the wealthy were able to get back when only women of means could get birth control and family planning services,” Baird said. “That moment changed me from a bystander to an activist. Now that I see our hard-won gains under threat once again, I’m hopeful that this story will inspire the next generation to action.”

Baird was charged with a felony in 1967 for distributing contraceptive foams after lecturing on birth control at Boston University. The resulting Eisenstadt v. Baird case led to the Supreme Court striking down a Massachusetts law prohibiting the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried people for the purpose of preventing pregnancy, ruling that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

Baird is currently working on his memoir. Corstoria, a start-up media company, optioned those rights to develop the script for “Privacy.”

“This story needs to be told with great sensitivity toward incorporating both female and male perspectives,” Corstoria president David Rich said. “We’re being purposeful in pursuing that same balance of partnership in building the production team for this movie. We see this as an essential component of telling this important story successfully.”

Branded Pictures Entertainment is a film, TV, and stage production and development company that’s focused on projects built on brands. It produced the drama “So B. It” and is developing a “Danny and the Dinosaur” movie.

More Film

  • Face to Face with German Films

    Face to Face with German Films Unveils the Six ‘Faces’ of 2019 (EXCLUSIVE)

    Teutonic promotional organization German Films has announced that its annual initiative supporting German filmmaking internationally, Face to Face With German Films, will focus on actors and actresses as the campaign enters its fourth year. Six of Germany’s leading thesps – Maria Dragus, Christian Friedel, Luise Heyer, Jonas Nay, Jördis Triebel and Fahri Yardim – will [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    'Green Book' Lands Post-Oscars Theatrical Release in China

    Fresh off Monday’s news that it had picked up five Academy Award nominations, best picture favorite “Green Book” is set for more good luck. The film will hit Chinese theaters on March 1, the first weekend after the Oscars, which fall on Feb 24, Alibaba Pictures announced on its official social media account. The film [...]

  • Fan Bingbing

    Chinese Celebrities Pay $1.7 Billion in Back Taxes Following Fan Bingbing Scandal

    Chinese film and TV stars have paid some $1.7 billion (RMB11.7 billion) of additional taxes, following the mid-2018 scandal surrounding actress Fan Bingbing. The figure was announced Tuesday by China’s State Tax Administration. Chinese authorities launched a probe into the taxation affairs of the entertainment sector in October. Companies and individuals were asked to examine [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Film News Roundup: AMC, Regal to Leave 'Roma' Out of Best Picture Showcases

    In today’s film news roundup, “Roma” will not be in the best picture showcases at AMC and Regal, “Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church” gets a release and SAG-AFTRA’s David White has a new appointment. ‘ROMA’ SPURNED AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas are leaving Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” out of their upcoming annual showings of the contenders for [...]

  • First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban

    First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban-Inspired After-Party (EXCLUSIVE)

    Celebrities at this year’s SAG Awards won’t have to go far for some tropical fun. Sunday’s annual post-show gala, hosted by People magazine for the 23rd year, is set to feature a Cuban-themed party space adjacent to the Shrine Auditorium. “We’re kind of going back to more of a thematic element. I have some close [...]

  • Paul DavidsonVariety Big Data Summit Presented

    Listen: The Orchard's Paul Davidson on Surviving Sundance Bidding Wars

    Hollywood heads to Park City, Utah this week in the hopes of finding the next big Sundance Film Festival breakout. Paul Davidson, executive vice president of film and television at The Orchard, plans to be in the thick of it. In today’s edition of Variety‘s “Strictly Business” podcast, Davidson opens up about The Orchard’s strategy [...]

  • Young Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie:

    James Gandolfini's Son Michael Gandolfini Cast as Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' Movie

    Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini, will play the young Tony Soprano in “The Many Saints of Newark,” the  prequel movie to the television series “The Sopranos.” “It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” Gandolfini said. “I’m thrilled that I am [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content