The story of American Atheists founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair will be presented in an indie movie for Netflix.
Netflix plans to expand its influence in the indie movie market by working directly with independent movie makers to produce their films and release them in all Netflix territories simultaneously, Deadline reports.
O’Hair was the president of the organization she created from 1963 until 1986, when her son took over. She is well known for the Murray v. Curlett lawsuit which resulted in the Supreme Court’s 1963 ruling to ban official Bible readings in public schools.
Along with other separation-of-church-and-state lawsuits, O’Hair remained in the public eye from the 1960s through the 1980s by appearing on the Phil Donahue Show several times as well as appearing in a Playboy interview. She also served on Larry Flynt’s 1984 presidential campaign as a speechwriter. In 1995, she was kidnapped and murdered, along with her son and granddaughter, by a former American Atheist member (wikipedia).
The movie, slated for a 2016 release, will star Melissa Leo (who also appeared in The Fighter) and will be produced by Brownstone Productions (which also worked on Pitch Perfect 2).
The home entertainment giant typically invests more than 100% of a movie’s budget to obtain all of the rights, which in the case of indie films will run somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million.
Melissa Leo to Star in 'The Most Hated Woman in America' for Netflix: The influential atheist activist founded the… http://t.co/WpvAwT6uqz
— Atheist Alerts (@GoogleAtheist) July 10, 2015
Netflix also obtained the rights to a currently unnamed electronic music feature (starring Sarah Hyland, Graham Phillips, and Chris D’Elia), a thriller named Rebirth (written and directed by Karl Mueller), and will team with the Duplass Brothers on two films, 6 Years and Mason Family Vacation.
The company continues to search for independent movie projects to support.