×

Lincoln Assassination Aftermath Movie ‘Madman’ in the Works From David Permut (EXCLUSIVE)

Permut Presentations has acquired “Madman,” a historical horror script set during the aftermath of the Lincoln assassination.

David Permut, who received a best picture Oscar nomination for “Hacksaw Ridge,” is producing. The script is written by Alexa Garster based on Caleb Jenner Stephens’ book “Worst Seat in the House.”

The story follows Henry Rathbone, a close friend of Lincoln’s who was with the president at Ford’s Theatre on the night of his murder in 1865. Rathbone was the only person to confront John Wilkes Booth that night and was haunted by horrific hallucinations of the assassin that tore his life apart while his beloved wife, Clara, desperately tried to bring him back to reality.

“I’m excited about this script because it lives in two worlds,” Permut told Variety. “It’s very much a genre horror piece, but it’s also historically accurate and tells a story not many people know. It’s unlike anything else on my slate. I think this will attract a director who has a unique cinematic style that will leave their imprint on the film.”

The acquisition of “Madman” is in keeping with Permut’s passion for telling true stories, including the biographical war drama “Hacksaw Ridge” and the Netflix comedy “The Polka King” about polka sensation Jan Lewan. His upcoming projects include “Chippendales,” starring Ben Stiller and Dev Patel, and the Dock Ellis biopic “Dock” with O’Shea Jackson Jr.

Popular on Variety

Keenan Porterfield, who brought the project to Permut, is co-producing. Permut is represented by Neil Sacker at Skadden Arps.

More Film

  • Robert Pattinson Margaret Qualley

    Robert Pattinson-Margaret Qualley Thriller 'The Stars at Noon' Sells to A24

    A24 has bought North American rights to the thriller “The Stars at Noon,” starring Robert Pattinson and Margaret Qualley. Claire Denis is attached to direct, and wrote the screenplay with Lea Mysius and Andrew Litvack, based on Denis Johnson’s 1986 novel. The deal was announced Tuesday on the eve of the Berlin Film Festival, where Wild [...]

  • The Speech

    Charades Rolls Into EFM with Pre-Sales on 'The Rosemaker,' 'The Speech' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Charades, the sales firm launched three years ago by former execs at Wild Bunch, Gaumont and Studiocanal, will roll into the Berlinale’s European Film Market with a raft of pre-sales on anticipated French projects, including “The Rosemaker” with Catherine Frot and Laurent Tirard’s “The Speech.” Charades will unveil the promos of both films, as well [...]

  • Dexter Fletcher73rd British Academy Film Awards,

    'Rocketman' Filmmaker Dexter Fletcher to Direct 'The Saint' Reboot (EXCLUSIVE)

    After the success of its Elton John biopic “Rocketman,” Paramount has set filmmaker Dexter Fletcher to direct another high-profile project for the studio. Fletcher will helm “The Saint,” a reboot of its 1997 action thriller that starred Val Kilmer. The globe-trotting adventure is based on the 1920s novel series written by Leslie Charteris. Seth Grahame-Smith [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Jury Deliberations Begin in Harvey Weinstein Rape Trial

    Jury deliberations in the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein began Tuesday. After a six-week trial, a 12-member panel of New Yorkers will now decide if the former movie mogul goes free or spends the rest of his life behind bars. The case is considered to be a landmark moment for the #MeToo movement in Hollywood, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content