Producers David Friendly, Mark Clayman and Michael Menchel have teamed up to develop a film based on Picking Cotton, the memoir by rape victim Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and the man she mistakenly identified, Ronald Cotton, according to Variety.
Todd Komarnicki will write the adaptation.
Thompson-Cannino was raped as a college student in 1984 and later identified the 22-year-old Cotton as her attacker, leading to a jury conviction and sentence of life in prison. Cotton maintained his innocence and was freed 11 years later, thanks to DNA testing; Thompson-Cannino and Cotton then met, became friends and began traveling together through the Innocence Project to promote understanding about flaws in the criminal-justice system.
"What they've done is incredibly inspirational in terms of showing how powerful forgiveness is," he added. "It makes me examine how I live my own life."
Friendly (Little Miss Sunshine) decided to option the book when he saw a "60 Minutes" story about Cotton and Thompson-Cannino. "I burst into tears while watching it, which is usually a pretty good sign that something's a viable property," he said.
No production date was announced.