Sam Taylor-Johnson couldn't get away from Fifty Shades of Grey fast enough. After squaring off with author E.L. James over the BDSM hit's content, the director bailed for much calmer waters rather than take a paycheck for directing the sequel. Now she's figured out her next project, and based on the subject matter alone it promises to be just as provocative.
Taylor-Johnson is in talks to direct Chappaquiddick, which is based on the scandal that marred Ted Kennedy's political career. In 1969 Kennedy was driving along a one-lane bridge on the titular Massachusetts island, only to accidentally veer off course into the waters below. Kennedy escaped but his passenger, young staffer Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned. Rather than report the incident immediately Kennedy waited ten long hours and eventually pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a crash. The scandal is a big reason why we never had a President Ted Kennedy as he was considering a run for office at the time.
Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan wrote the script and Mark Ciardi is producing the film for which he seems to have taken a keen interest. He says...
"I’ve done a lot of true life stories, many sports stories, but this one had a deep impact on this country. Everyone has an idea of what happened on Chappaquiddick and this strings together the events in a compelling and emotional way. You’ll see what he had to go through."
Filming is set to begin next spring so expect to hear about casting soon. Perhaps the director's husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, would be up for a role? They met while filming the John Lennon biopic, Nowhere Boy. [THR]