by Steven Ertelt
October 18, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Producers for a new movie based on an upcoming autobiography by assisted suicide crusader Jack Kevorkian say their film won’t be used to promote euthanasia. Kevorkian, the infamous "Dr. Death" who was claims to have killed more than 130 patients via assisted suicide, has been shopping around his autobiography to publishers.
Michigan authors and Kevorkian friends Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie say they have been helping Kevorkian to prepare a 300-page manuscript, tentatively titled "The Life of Dr. Death."
Meanwhile, Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple and producer Steve Jones plans to begin filming the movie version in Michigan in early 2005.
"We’re at the beginning, just sort of starting to let this project seep into our souls,” Kopple told the Detroit Free Press last week. "But we know the film is going to be a real, honest look at the journeys people make.”
"It will look at the life of Dr. Kevorkian and all the incredible layers of his personality. And it will look at a man who’s given up so much for what he believes,” she told Free Press on Thursday.
Last week, Kopple visited Kevorkian at the prison where his is located, in Lapeer, Michigan.
Meanwhile, Jones says Oscar winner Ben Kingsley would head the short list of people he would like to play the imprisoned coroner.
Kingsley is a three time Oscar nominee who won the award for best actor in 1982 for his role in the film Gandhi.
"I don’t intend to make a film that bolsters euthanasia,” Jones told the Associated Press. "This is a story about an extraordinary life. No matter what you think of Kevorkian, he is a genius. His story is multifaceted and riveting.”
Kopple produced and directed Harlan County USA, winner of the 1977 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary. In 1991 Ms. Kopple received a second Academy Award for her non-fiction film, American Dream, which explored the human cost of the rapid economic decline of America’s industrial heartland.
Kevorkian was convicted in 1999 of killing Thomas Youk, a Detroit-area man with Lou Gehrig’s disease whose death was shown on the television show "60 Minutes."
Kevorkian argued the murder was a mercy killing, but sentenced for 10 to 25 years in prison. He is not eligible for parole until 2007. In June, he was denied a request for a new trial.
Related web sites:
Ben Kingsley – https://www.benkingsley.com