Chris Weitz is set to tackle the gay-rights drama 21 Years to Midnight for Fox 2000.
Weitz, who wrote the Star Wars spinoff Rogue One and recently penned Disney’s live-action hit Cinderella, will adapt Debbie Cenziper’s upcoming nonfiction book that chronicles the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S.
William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, won’t publish the book 21 Years to Midnight until June. But the book caused a stir when it was up for optioning last year. Fox 2000 nabbed the rights to the high-profile story in July and set Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, the pair behind its hit The Fault in Our Stars, to produce via the duo’s studio-based banner.
The story follows the legal journey of Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the landmark case, and his partner, the late John Arthur. Cenziper, a Washington Post reporter who has known Obergefell for some 20 years (her first husband and Arthur were cousins), wrote the book. As part of the package, the studio also acquired Obergefell’s life rights as well as those of his attorney, Al Gerhardstein.
Weitz — who moves between writing, directing and producing — has become a go-to scribe for the studio (he recently signed on to rewrite The Mountain Between Us for Fox 2000) as well as one of the most in-demand screenwriters in Hollywood in recent years, especially since landing the Star Wars gig. He was brought in to get Mountain Between Us in shape for an early summer shoot somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, where it will be winter and snowing.
Weitz is repped by WME and attorney Alex Kohner at Morris Yorn.