Paramount has set The Pianist scribe Ronald Harwood to write a feature about last fall's Dover, Pa., courtroom decision in which a federal judge denied a school board the right to force educators to teach intelligent design instead of evolution. Lynda Obst is producing.
Variety reports that Obst and Harwood say the trial had the level of emotional drama present in the 1925 Scopes Monkey trial, the subject of the 1960 film "Inherit the Wind," which was based on the 1955 Broadway play.
"Our aspiration is to make a film that powerful," Harwood said. "We have a highly emotional case that divided a town right down the middle, and a judge whose summary was spectacular."
Sensing a potential film, Obst sent a researcher to observe the trial and take notes.
"It has turned out to be the test case for the teaching of evolution in high school curriculums across the country, and it speaks directly to the key schism between the red and blue states," she said.