The feature film is based on Sonia “Sunny” Jacobs, a woman wrongfully convicted of murder who is later freed and starts a center to assist exonerees.
Amblin Partners is developing a feature film based on the life of Sonia “Sunny” Jacobs, a woman wrongfully convicted of murder who is later freed and starts a center to assist exonerees.
Amblin is currently meeting with writers to adapt Jacobs' story, which she wrote about in the book Stolen Time: The Inspiring Story of an Innocent Woman Condemned to Death.
Stolen Time — a working title — will be produced by TED's Juliet Blake, who previously worked with the studio on The Hundred-Foot Journey. Filmmaker and social justice activist Micki Dickoff In the Blink of an Eye, Neshoba and Jason Flom, host of the podcast Wrongful Conviction and founder of Lava Media, will executive produce.
Jacobs was in her 20s when she and her husband, Jesse Tafero, were convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1976 of the fatal shooting of two law enforcement officers based on the false testimony of the man who actually committed the murders.
In 1981, the Florida Supreme Court commuted Jacobs' sentence to life in prison, after the chief witness in the trial recanted his testimony and admitted to the murders. Tafero did not benefit similarly from the recanted testimony and remained on death row until his botched execution by electrocution in May 1990. The couple maintained their relationship until his death, corresponding every day via prison letters.
In 1992, nearly 17 years after her arrest, Jacobs' case was reversed on appeal and she was released on time served after taking an Alford plea for second-degree murder, in which she did not admit guilt. She has since gone on to found The Sunny Center, a sanctuary, providing exonerees with support and assisting them with overcoming the trauma, isolation and disconnection resulting from wrongful incarceration.
Jacobs' life and story have previously been dramatized in the play The Exonerated, which was later adapted as a made-for-cable movie. She has been played by Mia Farrow, Vanessa Redgrave and Susan Sarandon.
Amblin Partners' president of production Holly Bario will oversee on behalf of the studio.
“When Juliet told me about Sunny's life and the miscarriage of justice she suffered, my jaw hit the ground — just when I thought I'd heard the most shocking part, there would be another twist more unbelievable than the last," said Bario. "Despite everything she went through, Sunny's is a story of hope — instead of embracing anger she forgave, instead of letting tragedy define her life, Sunny became living proof that love always wins. I'm especially excited to tell this story with Juliet, whom I've known for many years, and who understands better than anyone the...
Bill Cosby's spokesperson called Eddie Murphy a 'Hollywood slave.' The remark comes after Murphy said 'disparaging remarks' about Bill Cosby on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. Murphy made his triumphant return to the iconic sketch show and brought back several fan-favorite characters. The comedian was clearly enjoying himself, even breaking character a few times to laugh, and accidentally even shouted 'sh*t!' during one sketch. However, Cosby's spokesman Andrew Wyatt is focused on one particular joke.
During Eddie Murphy's opening SNL monologue, the legendary comedian brought up Bill Cosby, who is currently serving a prison sentence over three counts of indecent assault. 'If you told me 30 years ago that I'd be this boring stay at home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I wouldn't have took that bet,' Murphy joked. 'Who is America's dad now?' he continued while doing a Cosby impersonation. The joke went over well with the audience, but Andrew Wyatt took offense. You can read part of his public statement below.'Mr. Cosby broke color barriers in the Entertainment Industry, so that Blacks like Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappell sic, Kevin Hart and et al., could have an opportunity to showcase their talents for many generations to come. It is sad that Mr. Murphy would take this glorious moment of returning to Saturday Night Live and make disparaging remarks against Mr. Cosby. One would think that Mr. Murphy was given his freedom to leave the plantation, so that he could make his own decisions; but he decided to sell himself back to being a Hollywood Slave.'
Eddie Murphy has been open in the past about Bill Cosby contacting him on the phone to change up his act in the 1980s. Cosby urged Murphy and other African American comics to stop making their routines so vulgar. Obviously, this has come off as more than a little hypocritical over the years as more and more allegations about Cosby's predatory behavior come to light. Andrew Wyatt took some more time in his statement to remind Murphy of what Cosby accomplished. He explains.'Remember, Mr. Murphy, that Bill Cosby became legendary because he used comedy to humanize all races, religions and genders; but your attacking Mr. Cosby helps you embark on just becoming click bait. Hopefully, you will be amenable to having a meeting of the minds conversation, in order to discuss how we can use our collective platforms to enhance Black people rather than bringing all of us down together.'
Former SNL castmate Joe Piscopo worked with Eddie Murphy a lot when they were starting out. 'Cosby was Eddie's hero,' Piscopo says. Apparently, Murphy was devastated when Bill Cosby told him that his material was too dirty. Whatever the case may be, Piscopo says, 'All is fair in love and comedy,' when reacting to Andrew Wyatt's response to Murphy's joke. Murphy has yet to respond to the statement, as of this writing.
Eddie Murphy brought Tracy Morgan, Chris Rock, Dave...
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Vice TV has ordered Shelter in Place with Shane Smith, a new half-hour weekly interview show hosted by the Vice Media Group founder. It’s set to premiere Thursday, April 9 at 10 PM with two back-to-back episodes.
In the series, produced through remote video interviews from Smith’s home in Santa Monica, Smith will tackle the biggest questions of the moment with experts from the fields of science, journalism, entertainment, food and economics.Vice Media
“I'm at home, you're at home and our news cycle is changing by the minute,” said Smith. “So, I decided to dial up some of the world's foremost thinkers to offer us some much needed perspective and get to some truth on what we should be doing in this time like none other.” You can watch a preview clip below.
Smith’s first guest will be whistleblower Edward Snowden, who delves into the world of surveillance, privacy and our future civil liberties as international governments and autocratic regimes enact bold, new policies to curb the virus.
“When any of us look at where this is heading, we need to think about where we’ve been,” said Snowden. “And sadly, these kind of emergency powers that are born out of crises, have a perfect history of abuse”.
The second episode will feature California Governor Gavin Newsom who speaks to Smith about how his state has braced for the pandemic, where the federal government has stumbled, and what is coming next. Dr. Anne Rimoin, a world-leading epidemiologist, is also featured and will speak to how the virus has spread and what we can do about it.
Produced by Vice TV, Shane Smith, Alex Chitty, Maral Usefi are the Executive Producers for Shelter in Place. Jonah Kaplan is Supervising Producer.
Shelter in Place will be available on Vice TV via all major satellite and cable providers; ViceTV.com; and the Vice TV app via iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. The first two episodes will be available for free on Vice & Munchies YouTube page.
Shelter in Place with Shane Smith is the latest programming from Vice TV produced in response to COVID-19. Vice Quarantine Hour is a limited variety series airing weekdays at 8 AM ET/PT. Vice TV's Emmy-winning nightly newscast is airing dedicated COVID-19 episodes with Vice News Tonight: Remote.