True crime podcasts have really blown up in recent years, and now fans will be able to see if these stranger-than-fiction stories can make the jump to the big screen. EW has confirmed that Participant Media has acquired the rights to S-Town, the hit 2017 podcast from This American Life about one particular Alabama man’s very strange life. Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) is in talks to direct, with playwright Samuel Hunter in talks to write the script. Deadline was first to report the news.
Originally hosted by Brian Reed, S-Town became a podcast phenomenon last year due to its story of John B. McLemore, an Alabama man who hated his hometown of Woodstock (the podcasts’s title comes from one of his derivative names for it). McLemore initially enticed Reed by telling him about an unsolved murder case in town — which seemed like it could make the perfect sequel to Serial, the first This American Life spin-off show to meet with huge success. But as Reed investigated McLemore and Woodstock, he found even stranger stories.
In EW’s A- review of S-Town, Joe McGovern even compared the show to one of the most acclaimed movies of all time: “Reed … proceeds to endeavor on a grand Citizen Kane-style reverse biography of McLemore, based on the man’s own testimony and those of his many friends, neighbors and enemies.” Soon, S-Town will get the full cinematic treatment.