After my first nonfiction book, Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial, was published, a number of readers told me that the book would make a great movie. (It’s written as a narrative and tells the true story of two women who expose the deception behind the making of a bestselling drug). And in fact I did receive a call from a Hollywood producer interested in optioning film rights for the book. Negotiations commenced but didn’t pan out. I moved onto my next book project (about sex work), figuring that Hollywood just wasn’t in the cards.
Imagine my surprise seven years later to hear from another director and screenwriter that he was interested in optioning the film rights for my 2008 book. This time, it came to pass. Of course, that doesn’t mean a movie will be made. First, the director who bought the film rights has to write a screenplay and then sell it to a production company, and even then there’s no guarantee the movie will be made. Even so, it’s a beginning. I remind myself that it took almost 20 years for the movie Black Mass to hit the big screen from the time the book, written by two of my former Boston Globe colleagues, was optioned. And it took more than a decade for the movie Spotlight to reach global audiences after the The Globe’s Spotlight team won its Pulitzer for exposing the Catholic Church’s cover-up of priest abuse. And we all know what happened to that film: it won the 2016 Oscar for Best Picture.