Channing Tatum Pulls the Plug on Directorial Debut With The Weinstein Co.
Channing Tatum and longtime collaborator and producing partner Reid Carolin were set to make their co-directorial debut with an adaptation of Matthew Quick’s YA novel Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. The film was set up with The Weinstein Co., but in an official statement released today, Tatum and Carolin revealed that they are no longer developing the project at the studio in the wake of extensive sexual assault and harassment allegations against former studio head Harvey Weinstein.
In a statement posted to Instagram, Channing Tatum hailed the “brave women who had the courage to stand up and speak their truth about Harvey Weinstein.” To date, over two dozen women (and counting, sadly) have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault and / or rape. Yesterday, a television producer accused Weinstein’s brother and studio co-founder Bob of sexual harassment, as well.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock tells the story of a teenager’s plot to kill his best friend before committing suicide. Before he enacts this plan, he delivers gifts to the four most important people in his life; along the way, a traumatic past involving sexual abuse slowly emerges. Tatum’s statement goes on to cite Quick’s novel and how its message relates to the Weinstein allegations — which have inspired many other women, famous and civilian alike, to come forward with their own stories of assault and harassment, inside the industry and out:
Our lone project in development with TWC — Matthew Quick’s brilliant book, Forgive Me Leonard Peacock — is a story about a boy whose life was torn asunder by sexual abuse. While we will no longer develop it or anything else that is property of TWC, we are reminded of its powerful message of healing in the wake of tragedy. This is a giant opportunity for real positive change that we proudly commit ourselves to. The truth is out — let’s finish what our incredible colleagues started and eliminate abuse from our creative culture once and for all.
In addition to co-directing with Carolin, Tatum was considering acting in the drama, which might have been an awards season contender similar to the Weinsteins’ Silver Linings Playbook — which was also based on a novel by Matthew Quick.
As long as TWC retains the rights to Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, Tatum and Carolin will not be involved.