Ash R. Shah's Silver Nitrate Entertainment has picked up the rights to the non-fiction book The True History of the Elephant Man written by Michael Howell and Peter Ford based on years of extensive research into the life of Joseph Merrick.

Unlike the 1980 film The Elephant Man by David Lynch starring John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins, the book chronicles Merrick's life in its entirety, from his birth in 1862 through his tragic death in 1890. Lynch's film received wide critical acclaim garnering 8 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and winning 3 BAFTAs including Best Film and Best Actor for John Hurt.

"There is a whole generation of people who are unfamiliar with Merrick's incredible story, having not been exposed to Lynch's 1980 film," said Shah. "We're confident that an interesting filmmaker can bring this compassionate story to a whole new audience. Merrick's life is a testament to what the human spirit can endure and what life truly should be."

Due to horrible physical deformities, Merrick spent most of his life as a carnival freak. He was hounded, persecuted and starving in a brutal Victorian world until his fortune changed when he was rescued and befriended by Dr. Frederick Treves. Joseph Carey Merrick, better known as the Elephant Man has become a part of popular mythology.