A feature film adaptation of Jon Ronson’s utterly fascinating non-fiction book The Psychopath Test is being put together, and the choice of star is quite compelling. Deadline reports that Universal Pictures is developing The Psychopath Test movie as a potential starring vehicle for Johansson, with Recount and Meet the Parents director Jay Roach set to helm. Kristin Gore (Futurama) is set to pen the adaptation of the book, which explores the concept of psychopathy, the mental health industry, and the fact that many of those who attain great success in life (like CEOs and politicians) are likely psychopaths.
I’ll be interested to see how the material is handled in a feature film (the report describes it as a “psychological thriller”), but Johansson and Roach are both intriguing choices. Despite her Marvel duties, Johansson has continued to choose challenging material like Under the Skin as of late, and she’s a genuinely fantastic talent. As for Roach, after making a name for himself directing comedies like Austin Powers and Dinner for Schmucks, he’s turned his attention to more politically charged material like HBO’s Game Change and the upcoming drama Trumbo.
Roach will produce the film alongside Brian Grazer, whose Imagine Entertainment is also producing. Read a synopsis for Ronson’s book below.
They say one out of every hundred people is a psychopath. You probably passed one on the street today. These are people who have no empathy, who are manipulative, deceitful, charming, seductive, and delusional. The Psychopath Test is the New York Times bestselling exploration of their world and the madness industry.
When Jon Ronson is drawn into an elaborate hoax played on some of the world’s top scientists, his investigation leads him, unexpectedly, to psychopaths. He meets an influential psychologist who is convinced that many important business leaders and politicians are in fact high-flying, high-functioning psychopaths, and teaches Ronson how to spot them. Armed with these new abilities, Ronson meets a patient inside an asylum for the criminally insane who insists that he’s sane, a mere run-of-the-mill troubled youth, not a psychopath—a claim that might be only manipulation, and a sign of his psychopathy. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud, and with a legendary CEO who took joy in shutting down factories and firing people. He delves into the fascinating history of psychopathy diagnosis and treatments, from LSD-fueled days-long naked therapy sessions in prisons to attempts to understand serial killers.
Along the way, Ronson discovers that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their most insane edges. The Psychopath Test is a fascinating adventure through the minds of madness. [BN.com]