The Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, which was followed by a month of celebrations across the country, is exactly the kind of big and historic moment that movie studios love to turn into the Oscar-bait films of the future. And now, that day is already here. The New York Times is reporting that 20th Century Fox has obtained the life rights of Jim Obergefell, the lead defendant in the historic case that became the face of the movement. If that wasn’t enough, they also got the life rights of his attorney, Al Gerhardstein, and the screen rights to “21 Years to Midnight,” a book that actually hasn’t been written yet, by Obergefell and Debbie Cenziper.
Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist that’s known Obergefell for more than two decades. A proposal for the book has already been submitted to publishers and could end up with a deal as soon as this week. News that it’s going to be a major motion picture won’t harm that process, I’m sure.
Obergefell was married to John Arthur, his longtime partner, from 2013 until the time of his passing that same year. Afterward, Obergefell sued Ohio after the state wouldn’t list him as a spouse on his late husband’s death certificate. It’s a heartbreaking story (and one with elements that many others can, unfortunately, relate to), but at least there is some small kernel of a happy ending in knowing that others won’t suffer the same indignity. Now, it’ll be up to producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen (The Fault In Our Stars), and whoever is chosen to write and direct this film to find a way to do this story justice and make a film that can stand out both as a declaration of victory and a reminder of what the fight was all about. So, you know, no pressure!
(via The New York Times)