Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, the duo behind Netflix’s Making a Murderer, were enjoying quite a lot of healthy publicity up until a month or so ago. The documentary series put an unexpected emphasis on the case of Steven Avery, who had been imprisoned for 18 years for sexual assault and attempted murder, and became a surprisingly prominent subject on several social media platforms. There were definitely petitions, and quite a lot of think pieces about documentary filmmaking, the justice system, lawyers, the state of modern prisons, and Avery himself. Along with Jon Bernthal‘s The Punisher, it’s probably the most talked-about thing to come from Netflix in quite some time.
And as one might expected, Ricciardi and Demos are striking while the iron is hot. Variety is reporting today that the duo will next adapt America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker, a series of Huffington Post articles about an ethically dubious division inside of Johnson & Johnson that spearheaded the marketing of an anti-psychotic drug without disclosing many of its painful side effects. According to Yahoo, the series will see the team move from documentary to the scripted platform and though no major technical collaborators or cast members have been announced, George Clooney and Grant Heslov will be backing the series through their Smokehouse Pictures.
It’s unclear who will be taking the project once its completed, but its sure to be a hot property, especially because it focuses on everyone’s favorite subject: corporate corruption and crime. Steven Brill wrote the original series of articles about the Johnson & Johnson division, and the film will be the first in a sweeping deal between Smokehouse and Sonar. One would imagine Netflix is already on the phone trying to secure this property, but there’s just as much reason to believe that Hulu, Amazon, or even HBO might want their fingers in this pie. There is, and always will be, quite a lot of money in making audiences good and outraged over big business or, in this case, big pharmaceutical.