Under their first look deal at Sony Pictures Television, Lear and Miller have optioned Boyle’s bestselling book “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.” Lear and Miller are eyeing it as a workplace drama-comedy based on the life and stories of the Jesuit priest.
Lear and Miller will executive produce through Act III, while Chris Donahue and Seth Cohen are also executive producers. Fr. Boyle will receive a consulting producer credit. A search is underway to find a writer to adapt his book.
Fr. Boyle is a familiar figure in Los Angeles, as he built Homeboy Industries into the largest gang intervention program in the country. Homeboy offers services such as tattoo removal, job training and employment, bringing together members of enemy gangs to work side-by-side in a safe environment. The idea of Homeboy Industries came after the rise of gang violence in Southern California in the early 1990s.
“Father Boyle has created an institution, a movement and ultimately a community of people, who in most cases — due to childhood trauma fell into a world that robbed them of their independence and understanding of their potential to exist and flourish without consequence,” Lear and Miller said in a joint statement. “He brought people together that were formerly divided. He entered into radical kinship with them regardless of their background – culturally, politically, or otherwise. And he made them laugh. It feels like the perfect formula for a new series as we say goodbye to 2020.”
“Tattoos on the Heart” was released in 2010; Fr. Boyle also wrote “Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship” in 2017.
Among honors received by Fr. Boyle, he was given the California Peace Prize and inducted into the California Hall of Fame. He was also named a Champion of Change by President Obama in 2014, and awared the University of Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, the oldest honor given to American Catholics, in 2017. Fr. Boyle is currently a committee member of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 economic and job recovery task force.