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An inside account of the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy is headed to television.
Scott Steindorff and Dylan Russell’s Stone Village Television has landed the TV rights to Ryan Hampton’s upcoming book Unsettled. An outlet is not yet attached.
Unsettled: How the Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Failed the Victims of the American Overdose Crisis (St. Martin’s Press), which is set to be released Oct. 5, chronicles the “the inside story of Purdue’s excruciating Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, the company’s eventual restructuring, and the Sackler family’s evasion of any true accountability,” according to the publisher. Unsettled also details the “untold story of how a group of determined ordinary people tried to see justice done against the odds — and in the face of brutal opposition from powerful institutions and even government representatives.”
Steindorff and Russell will executive produce with Zhara Astra to co-executive produce. Hampton will also produce the limited series.
Purdue Pharma, the maker of addictive painkiller OxyContin — which contributed to the national opioid epidemic — and a company controlled by the billionaire Sackler family, filed for bankruptcy in Sept. 2019 to protect itself from lawsuits for its role in the overdose crisis. Last month, a bankruptcy settlement promised billions of dollars to be distributed to address the epidemic, with the Sackler family contributing $4.5 billion to the settlement.
Appointed by the Department of Justice, Hampton served as co-chair of the official creditors committee in the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy case that represented victims. After the proceedings of the case closed Sept. 1, Hampton resigned from the committee Aug. 31. Hampton also worked as a campaign staffer for Bill Clinton. He previously published, American Fix, in 2018.
Steindorff said in a statement, “This is one of the greatest tragedies in American history and one of the largest criminal enterprises brought about by greed. This will be like The Insider Meets Erin Brockovich — detailing how the settlement, for billions of dollars, only benefited the government, insurance companies, corporations, and those that caused the crime. The criminals have escaped, leaving countless Americans abandoned. The victims most injured by Purdue Pharma not only have suffered and died due to their recklessness, but are now only left with an insultingly small percentage of the settlement.”
Hampton adds, “I’m grateful to partner with Scott Steindorff and the entire team at Stone Village on this important project. There is no better combination of storytelling genius to do justice to the victims who have been left behind by Big Law, Big Government, and Big Pharma.”
In addition to Unsettled, other projects in the works from Stone Village include HBO Max’s Station Eleven (due this year) and an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for TV. The production company also landed rights to author Charles Leerhsen’s book Butch Cassidy: The True Story of an American Outlaw following a multiple-outlet bidding war.
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