“Lucky,” the film project adapted from Alice Sebold’s 1999 memoir led by “You” star Victoria Pedretti, has been abandoned. Variety has learned.
The film was dropped after losing its funding months ago, according to a source close to the production. Pedretti is also no longer involved.
In “Lucky,” Sebold describes how she was brutally beaten and raped by a stranger during her freshman year at Syracuse University in 1981, and explores how this trauma shaped the rest of her life. On Wednesday, a New York Times article detailed how executive producer Timothy Mucciante raised concerns about the events in the book and left the project.
Anthony Broadwater, the man who appears in his novel (under the fictitious name Gregory Madison) and was convicted of first degree rape and five other charges in this case, was exonerated on November 24 in the New York State Supreme Court. .
Broadwater spent 16 years in prison and was released in 1998. Since then, he has continued to assert his innocence while facing decades of stigma, isolation and lost job opportunities as a registered sex offender.
Mucciante, who executive produced “Lucky” and was destined to provide financing for the film through his Red Badge Films banner, was instrumental in getting Broadwater’s conviction re-examined. Mucciante “began to question the story behind the film earlier this year, after noticing discrepancies between the memoir and the script,” according to The New York Times.
Mucciante left the project in June and hired a private investigator to examine the evidence against Broadwater. The result of the private investigation was later reviewed by Broadwater’s legal team.
Defense attorneys for Broadwater argued that the case had been based solely on a microscopic hair analysis method that has now been discredited, and on the identification of Broadwater by Sebold in court. Sebold had initially identified a different man as his attacker in a police lineup, but later pointed to Broadwater in court after the “prosecutor falsely told Ms. Sebold that Mr. Broadwater and the man next to him were friends who had deliberately appeared together in the lineup. ” to deceive her, ”reports the New York Times.
“I started to have some doubts, not about the story Alice told about her assault, which was tragic, but about the second part of her book on the trial, which did not fit,” Mucciante told the Times.
Sebold has not commented on the overturned conviction, but ignored questions from a Daily Mail reporter near his home in San Francisco, as seen in photos and a video posted by the UK publication. “Lucky,” which sold more than 1 million copies, began her career as an author. He went on to write the 2002 novel “The Lovely Bones,” which sold 10 million copies and was adapted into Peter Jackson’s Oscar-nominated film of the same name.
Karen Moncreiff (“13 Reasons Why”) was set to write and direct “Lucky,” with James Brown (“Still Alice”) serving as producer. Jonathan Bronfman of JoBro Productions was the executive producer of the film, but Variety You have confirmed that you are no longer linked to the project.
Variety Brown and Sebold’s literary agent has been contacted for comment. Mucciante made no further comment.
Pat Saperstein and Angelique Jackson contributed to this story.