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Walt Disney Studios is developing a feature project based on the true-life story of an illegal immigrant from Mexico who became the current head of brain tumor surgery at John Hopkins Hospital.
Plan B, the production company run by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, is producing the project, known as Dr. Q. Matt Lopez, the playwright behind the acclaimed Civil War drama The Whipping Man, is set to pen the screenplay.
Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa crossed the border from Mexico when he was 19, living illegally in the country as he worked on farms in California. He saved up for English classes and then saved up to attend school. He showed a propensity for the medical arts and attended Harvard Medical School. He became a celebrated brain surgeon and cancer researcher, penning cover stories in the fields of science and medicine while also being a cover subject. He is the director of brain tumor surgery at the John Hopkins Hospital.
Plan B’s relationship with Quinones-Hinojosa began in 2007 after execs first heard his story on a radio program.
Disney sees Dr. Q being a modestly budgeted inspirational drama, in the mold of its recently wrapped movie Queen of Katwe — an inspirational true story of a young Ugandan girl who becomes a chess champion — starring Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo.
Tendo Nagenda, who oversaw Katwe and also worked at Plan B before joining Disney, is shepherding Dr. Q with Allison Erlikhman.
Lopez’s most recent play was The Legend of Georgia McBride. The scribe was a staff writer on HBO’s The Newsroom and worked with Plan B on an adaptation of Your Face Tomorrow by Spanish novelist Javier Marias. He is repped by CAA.
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