Home Movies Josh Brolin Wanted for Erin Brokovich-Type Movie about Ford Trucks and Firestone

EXCLUSIVE: The landmark settlement of cases from the Ford-Firestone lawsuits of 2000 is coming to the big screen at last. Originally Michael Douglas had optioned Adam Penneberg’s book, “Tragic Indifference,” with the idea that he’d play maverick attorney Tab Turner. But time has passed, Douglas is older and busy with other projects. The film was originally at Warner Bros., but is now in turnaround. 2929 Productions and Douglas’s company, I am told, are going forward now that they have a great script. They’re hoping Josh Brolin will play Turner, the lawyer who would not stop until he got justice for the victims of the rollover cases–Firestone tires were blowing out and making Ford Explorers rollover. There were several famous victims including Donna Bailey, who is now 51 and completely paralyzed. All the players are hoping to get the film made this year as Bailey’s health is always precarious. The role is Oscar bait for 40 year old actresses–and names mentioned already are Cate Blanchett, Laura Linney, and Nicole Kidman. Douglas is also said to be very keen to get “Tragic Indifference”– currently known as “Bloody Highways”- into production. The movie is a thrilling possibility, along the lines of “Erin Brockovich,” “Michael Clayton,” and “Silkwood.” So far Jonathan Demme’s name has been at the top of the list for potential directors. Meantime, Turner — who hails from Little Rock and lives in San Diego — has been spending his time in Brooklyn Supreme Court negotiating a settlement with the Arab Bank for American Jews killed in explosions in Israel. The CBS documentary unit has been following him around. It’ a great “60 Minutes” piece.

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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