Sam Taylor-Johnson, best known as the director of this year’s film adaptation of sexy-thriller-romance-non-BDSM blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey, has signed on to direct Chappaquiddick. The film, The Hollywood Reporter reports, will focus on the national scandal of the same name that rocked the lives of all of those in Ted Kennedy’s political and personal camps.
The screenplay, written by Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan, was today added to the 2015 Blacklist, which represents the year’s best unproduced scripts. Chappaquiddick will focus specifically on the events that transpired before and after the 1969 death of Mary Jo Kopechne, a young woman who worked on JFK’s presidential campaign. She and her friends were attending a party where Ted Kennedy was present. Kennedy, who was married, left the party with Kopechne. He later crashed the car into a river and swam to his safety. Kopechne died. Kennedy did not report the accident for more than nine hours. Rightfully, this raised suspicions of the intentions of Kennedy and Kopechne, especially because none of the other partygoers knew that the two had left each other.
It’s a complicated story and it only gets more complicated from there. The resulting drama was highly televised, and Kennedy’s then-wife blamed it on her eventual miscarriage. It’s ripe for a film adaptation, so hopefully Taylor-Johnson pulls out a doozy. It could very well be her escape from Fifty Shades purgatory.