20th Century Fox is pulling their untitled Patty Hearst biopic based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trials of Patty Hearst. The film was to be directed by James Mangold, just off his recent success Logan.
Fox opted not to move forward with the film after a statement Hearst made condemning Toobin’s book, saying it “romanticizes my rape and torture and calls my abduction a ‘rollicking adventure’.” According to THR, Hearst added that she was:
... saddened and appalled that Fox 2000 agreed to finance and produce a movie based on Toobin’s book (with a similarly themes [sic] screenplay, also written by men) and that CNN has agreed to continue to perpetuate a one-sided dialogue romanticizing my torture and rape by hosting a podcast and docuseries through Toobin’s distorted lens. I refuse to give Jeffrey Toobin, 21st Century Fox, CNN or anyone lese [sic] involved in these projects about my life the power to make me a victim again, or the power to provide a platform where victim blaming is OK.
CNN was also reportedly working on a Hearst documentary that was set to air on Feb. 11.
Hearst, 63, is the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, who started the Hearst newspaper empire upon which Citizen Kane was loosely based. At 19, a far-left guerilla group called the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped her, and about 19 months later she was recovered—however, she later seemed to have joined their cause, after being spotted wielding a machine gun while entering a San Francisco bank to rob it with her captors. Hearst was arrested and put on trial, but throughout the trial, she maintained that she had been threatened and brainwashed. The trial ended with her being convicted for armed robbery and sent to jail for 22 months.
As of this writing, CNN’s The Radical Story of Patty Hearst has not been cancelled.