‘Rogue One’ Writer Tapped to Adapt LGBT Rights Drama ‘21 Years to Midnight’

     February 10, 2016


June 26, 2015 was an historic day for LGBT rights. It was the day the U.S. Supreme ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that the Constitution guarantees same-sex marriage as a right, making it legal across all 50 states. This fight that began with the case “Obergefell v. Hodges” will be chronicled in Debbie Cenziper‘s upcoming book, 21 Years to Midnight, to be released in June. A screenwriter has already been charged with adapting this source material for a feature film adaptation.

As first reported by THR, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story writer Chris Weitz has been hired by Fox 2000 to pen the script. The Oscar-nominated writer will adapt the story which centers on Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the landmark case, and his partner John Arthur. The couple, along with other same-sex couples in Tennessee, Michigan, Kentucky, and Ohio, challenged the constitutionality of the bans on same-sex marriage in those states and their refusal to recognize legal marriages conducted in other states. Obergefell married Arthur in Maryland in 2013 three months before his partner’s passing.


Image via Summit Entertainment

Cenziper’s book was a high-profile grab for Fox 2000 when the rights were up to be optioned last year. Part of the studio’s deal also includes the life rights to Obergefell and his attorney Al Gerhardstein. Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen of their production banner Temple Hill, the same guys who worked on the adaptation of the John Green novel The Fault in Our Stars, are producing 21 Years to Midnight.

Weitz’s recent writing credit is Disney’s live-action Cinderella of last year, though he’s become more in-demand thanks to Rogue One, directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Felicity Jones. He was also tapped by Fox 2000 for a rewrite on the drama The Mountain Between Us, which follows a man and woman who fall in love while stranded in the wilderness after a plane crash.

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