A Million Little Pieces, James Frey’s 2005 memoir about his struggles with addiction and his stint in rehab, was plagued by reports of fabrications that climaxed in a confrontation with Oprah Winfrey on her talk show in 2006 where he admitted to manipulating events. The movie adaptation, however, goes full steam ahead, as shown in the new trailer released this week.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals, The Outlaw King) stars as James, once a 23-year-old alcohol and drug addict. He awakes one day on an airplane with a bashed and bruised face and no memory of the past weeks. He proceeds to rehab where he learns he’ll very likely die if he returns to his old habits. Thus begins the brutal process of getting clean.
The story itself proved to be compelling and launched the book to become a best-seller. However, The Smoking Gun published an article in 2006, after Frey already appeared on Winfrey’s show to promote the memoir, that claimed evidence of fabricating pieces of the narrative. For instance, he spent a few hours in custody as opposed to the three months he wrote about in the book.
When Frey appeared, again, for an intense conversation with Winfrey that same year, he admitted “most of what they wrote was pretty accurate, absolutely.” Winfrey said she felt “really duped,” adding how she felt he “betrayed millions of readers.” Frey defended himself, saying the same “demons” that led to his addictions led him to alter events in the book.
In 2009, it was revealed Winfrey reached out to Frey to apologize for the heated interview after the episode proved itself to be controversial.
A Million Little Pieces, the movie, may have more success. It appear to be an adaptation of the story detailed the book, while disregarding the drama around it.
Sam Taylor-Johnson, Aaron’s wife who helmed Fifty Shades of Grey, directs the movie, which also features Billy Bob Thornton, Charlie Hunnam, Juliette Lewis, and Odessa Young. The script was co-adapted by the Taylor-Johnsons, a change from the previously attempt to make this book a movie at Warner Bros. that had Frey writing the script himself.
A U.S. release date has yet to be announced.