Dr. Death on the Big Screen?

Posted by: Kurosawa on October 19, 2004

A film with no name and no screenplay has recently been announced as a production slated for late 2005 release. Why care?

With Dr. Jack Kevorkian as subject matter who needs to wait for a script. Los Angeles based producer Steve Jones (Mad Dog and Glory, Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer) is prepping a film based on the assisted suicide advocate and Michigan's most infamous doctor. Slated to begin production in early 2005, the film although script less at the moment, will be based upon a 300-page, unpublished manuscript by Michigan authors Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie. And with two-time Academy Award winning director Barbara Kopple (documentaries Harlan County USA, 1976 and American Dream, 1991) on board to helm the feature, the project definitely has great potential.

Kevorkian, imprisoned in the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, Michigan, is serving the 5th year of a 10-25 year second-degree murder sentence for the assisted injection death of 75 year-old Thomas Youk. The videotape of the suicide/murder, shared by Kevorkian in 1998 on CBS's '60 Minutes', help solidify his conviction.

Producer Jones (who recently visited the physician in prison) and Kopple have received numerous documents from Kevorkian who supports the film wholeheartedly. Topping Jones' list for actors to play the part: how's Oscar winning actor Ben Kingsley sound to you?

And finally, Jones and Kopple had this to say regarding the project -

Kopple: "We know the film is going to be real, honest look at the journeys people make. It will look at the life of Dr. Kevorkian and all the incredible layers of his personality. And it will look at a man who's given up so much for what he believes."

Jones: "I don't intend to make a film that bolsters euthanasia,"..."This is a story about an extraordinary life. No matter what you think of Kevorkian, he is a genius. His story is multifaceted and riveting."

Source: Detroit Free Press

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