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Hot button topics sometimes make for the most quality entertainment, regardless of where you stand on the issues being discussed or dramatized. One can only hope for the most positive outcome from the TV movie Gosnell, as it’s sure to cause a stir. The crowdfunded film will cover the life and crimes of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, and its producers have tapped novelist and screenwriter Andrew Klavan to pen the script, according to Deadline
Klavan has been writing books for over 30 years, first making connections to the movie world when his 1987 novel Mrs. White (under the pseudonym Margaret Tracy) was turned into the Donald Cammell thriller White of the Eye. He wrote True Crime, which Clint Eastwood turned into an enjoyable 1999 pic, and Don’t Say a Word, a Gary Fleder movie about which I have less nice things to say. Klavan’s screenplays include the Michael Caine-starring 1990 office comedy thriller A Shock to the System and Eric Valette’s beyond-abhorrent 2008 remake One Missed Call. Most recently, he penned the surprisingly effective mobile app Haunting Melissa, which is basically a supernatural horror movie broken up into chapters that change each time you watch them.
None of that necessarily makes him the “right man for the job” for Gosnell, but then I have no idea who that description would fit properly. Dr. Kermit Gosnell, whose history with abortion goes back to the 1960s and 1970s, was convicted in 2013 of three counts of murder, along with a host of other charges, and was sentenced to life in prison. Gosnell’s methods included killing the babies of botched abortions by severing their spinal cords with scissors, and though only a select number of cases were used in the trial, he is thought to be responsible for thousands more like it. It seems necessary that this movie's future is destined for cable.
Gosnell already has a dedicated support group, as it became Indiegogo’s most successful crowd-funded film, raising $2.2 million with a $2.1 million goal. The project was put together by FrackNation producers Phelim McAleer and his wife Ann McElhinney, who are producing with Magdalena Segieda.
While this is certainly heavy material no matter which way you look at it, the film’s approach is what’s key here, and there are two possible signs of where it’s headed. (Both could be completely meaningless, don’t get me wrong.) One is that the Indiegogo campaign is presenting Gosnell as “the film Hollywood wanted nothing to do with” and “the case the media won’t cover.” The second is Klavan’s well-documented stance on the right wing of the party system. But I dare not make predictions on what the final product will be. In the meantime, take a look at the Indiegogo promo video below.
It’s presumed that once Klavan’s script is complete, the producers will shop the project around to networks, perhaps looking to get more funding.