Film studio 20th Century Fox has bought the life rights of the lead plaintiff Jim Obergefell in the lawsuit that resulted in the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S in order to create a film.
They bought the life rights to his lawyer, Al Gerhardstein, as well as the screen rights to the unwritten book by Obergefell and journalist Debbie Cenziper. The book proposal titled 21 Years to Midnight has been submitted to publishers and a deal is expected this week.
“It’s a transcendent love story about someone who goes to such a length for love that he ends up changing the world,” Wyck Godfrey, who will produce the movie with Marty Bowen, said.
Obergefell married his partner John Arthur in Maryland in 2013. Three months later, Arthur died. Ohio refused to list Obergefell as his spouse on the death certificate so the real-estate agent sued.
“We decided to stand up for our marriage and to no longer accept being treated as second-class citizens,” Obergefell said in a guest column for Variety. “We filed suit against the state of Ohio to demand recognition of our lawful, out-of-state marriage on John’s impending death certificate. Our decision, motivated by pain and anger, created a chain of results I never expected. The obvious result of that deacon is my trip to the United States Supreme Court as the named plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark case about the right to marry throughout our country.”
Fox 2000, a division known for literary adaptions, will handle the movie. It’s expected to be finished in at least two years.