Chris Columbus‘ 1492 Pictures are teaming up with ro*co productions to make a very particular slate of films. Every one of these new dramatic features is going to be a fictional adaptation of a documentary.
Thinking of this as a business plan, it’s seemingly a rather clever one. There’s ready-made stories to be had, and at a reasonable price, and with documentaries proving to be a pretty solid audience draw over the last few years, these adaptations could have some kind of punter awareness built in.
There’s an ethical question, regarding the processing of factual storytelling and investigation into “entertainment”, but that can easily be answered in a couple of ways: documentaries also strive to entertain; and it’s not a given that these fiction films will in any sense be exploitative – fiction can deal with real situations as sensitively as non-fiction.
Still, I bet there will be some knee-jerking going on. Fiction films tend to be seen as commercial exercises far more than their documentary cousins.
The first film off the new partnership’s line is to be an adaptation of Crime After Crime. The Hollywood Reporter describe it like this:
Follows two young attorneys trying to free from prison Debbie Peagler, who was sentenced to life behind bars for her role in the murder of a man who abused her.
Here’s the trailer for Yoav Potash’s documentary original.
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