Movie About Kermit Gosnell Casts Abortion Doctor, Begins Filming

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Earl Billings, left, plays Kermit Gosnell in a movie about the abortion doctor, shown here after his 2013 murder conviction.

Dean Cain is playing Detective James Wood in the Nick Searcy-directed feature film.

The filmmakers behind Gosnell, a movie about abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, said Thursday that Earl Billings has been cast as Gosnell while Dean Cain will play Detective James Wood, who investigated Gosnell in a case that led to him being convicted on three counts of murder and one of manslaughter.

Billings, who bears a slight resemblance to the real Gosnell, has been a character actor for more than three decades, showing up in such films as American Splendor and Thank You For Smoking. He was a regular on the TV series Miss Guided in 2008.

Cain is best known as Clark Kent in the TV series Lois & Clark and has recently starred in a slew of TV Christmas movies.

Gosnell, originally conceived as a TV movie but now planned as a feature film, has begun filming in Oklahoma City, a producer said Thursday.

Nick Searcy, best known as an actor for his role on Justified on FX, is directing Gosnell from a script by Andrew Klavan, who drew on a 280-page grand jury report that describes how the African-American doctor charged different prices for anesthesia depending on how much pain a patient was willing to endure and how white women were given a nicer waiting room and cleaner medical equipment than the minority women.

The report alleges that Gosnell killed hundreds of infants by sticking scissors into their necks, but he was convicted a few years ago on just three counts of murder and one of manslaughter.

The movie also will tell the story of what filmmakers say was a media cover-up that lasted decades.

Gosnell is being made with $2.3 million raised on Indiegogo, the fourth most for a film project on the crowdfunding website.

Other castmembers include Michael Beach as the district attorney and Sarah Jane Morris as the assistant DA, the filmmakers said Thursday.

Ann McElhinney, Phelim McAleer and Magdalena Segieda are producing, and executive producing is John Sullivan, who co-directed Dinesh D'Souza's 2016: Obama's America.

Beyond the subject matter, the movie generated some controversy this week when the filmmakers announced they were seeking hundreds of volunteers as extras in a wedding scene.

McAleer, though, said the criticism that announcement received was motivated by those who aren't anxious for Gosnell to be made and who didn't like FrackNation, a film he made in an attempt to debunk claims made in Josh Fox's documentary GasLand

McAleer joked that he'd like to buy journalists looking to "crack down on the practice of volunteering" a one-way ticket to the Sundance Film Festival, where they "can continue to investigate the thousands of other films that have also allowed their friends, family and fans to volunteer their efforts."

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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