Little Pink House, Jeff Benedict's book about the Kelo v. City of New London case, looks like it is going to become a feature film.
Earlier, we heard it was going to be a TV (Lifetime) movie with Brooke Shields in the protagonist role, but it appears that they're going for your local multiplex or arthouse instead, according to an op-ed in USA Today with the interesting title of "Culture can help tame eminent domain abuse" ("We are producing a feature film based on Kelo's historic saga, and we hope to achieve some of the impact garnered by Erin Brockovich, another underdog film about a real-life working-class woman.").
The authors, producers of the film, suggest that if only the public knew about Susette Kelo's story, attitudes would shift about eminent domain abuse:Erin Brockovich showed how culture can elevate otherwise obscure issues to drive reform. Cultural depictions played an important role in the recent shift in public support for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization, and Kelo's courageous struggle could likewise help viewers understand the human cost of eminent domain abuse.
After all, her story already reads like a feature film. The recently divorced nurse was on her own for the first time in her life and fell in love with a rundown little house overlooking a river in New London, Conn., She fixed it up with her own hands and painted it pink. Little did she know that power brokers from city hall to the governor's mansion were bent on seizing her little pink house and the homes of her neighbors so that Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, could enhance its corporate facilities. City officials promised more tax revenue and Pfizer executives looked forward to high-end housing and other perks. (Pfizer had high hopes for a soon-to-be-released drug called Viagra.)
Nine years after being taken from her, the land where Kelo and her neighbors once lived remains a barren lot, home to migratory birds and feral cats. So much for tax revenue.
We hope our film, Little Pink House, will help raise awareness of eminent domain abuse to the point where we could be done with this odious strain of cronyism once and for all.
While we wish them well, we shouldn't overlook that there already have been a couple of films about eminent domain abuse, Battle for Brooklyn, and You've Been Trumped, and although those were not big Hollywood productions, they illustrated well the dynamic of cronyism gone wild. And as far as we can tell, crony capitalism and eminent domain abuse are still with us. Even if we remain somewhat skeptical of a forthcoming sea change in attitudes, we wish the producers well, and promise that we''ll be among the first in line to see Little Pink House when it is released.
And don't forget our suggestions for casting, posted here. Producers: feel free to run with our suggestions, but don't forget our screen credit, please.