Katie Couric Takes Aim at Gun Violence in Next Documentary (Exclusive)

Katie Couric and Stephanie Soechtig - H 2014
AP Images

Katie Couric and Stephanie Soechtig - H 2014

The anchor and Stephanie Soechtig, who previously teamed up for a doc about childhood obesity, also will examine U.S. gun-control laws and the backstory of the NRA

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Katie Couric and Stephanie Soechtig, who tackled childhood obesity in this year's documentary Fed Up, are setting their sights on an even bigger hot-button issue: gun violence.

"Much like Fed Up traced the history of the obesity epidemic, this film will trace the history of guns and their impact on society," says Couric, currently Yahoo's global news anchor. "We hope we can deconstruct this complex issue and give people a better understanding of existing and proposed gun laws and take a closer look at one of the most polarizing issues of our time."

Soechtig, who co-wrote and directed Fed Up, tells THR she will helm the new doc, which will trace U.S. gun-control laws and gun violence as well as the backstory of the NRA. Soechtig, 37, and Couric, 57, have been working on initial research and plan to have Couric produce, conduct interviews and narrate, as she did with Fed Up, which premiered at Sundance in January, grossed $1.5 million in theaters via Radius-Weinstein Co and is available on iTunes and Amazon.

"It's one of those issues, much like obesity and food, where what you see on the surface isn't necessarily what you get," says Soechtig, who grew up near Newtown, Conn., where the Sandy Hook school shooting occurred. "It's one of those places where you think nothing like this could ever happen," she says.

Atlas Films, which produced Fed Up, also is returning, and Regina K. Scully, CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation, will executive produce along with Michael and Michelle Walrath.

Like veteran TV anchor Couric, Soechtig has a news background, having worked for Fox News' O'Reilly Factor for several years as a producer before directing 2009's Tapped, investigating the bottled-water industry. Adds Soechtig, "It's incredibly exciting to take another subject that's so prevalent right now and hopefully move the needle one way or the other."

Couric is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson.

Email: Rebecca.Ford@THR.com
Twitter: @Beccamford

6:47 a.m. An earlier version of this story also incorrectly said that Fed Up aired on CNN.