Convicted and sentenced former Fleishman-Hillard exec Doug Dowie has optioned a screenplay to Jonathan Sanger, a producer on The Elephant Man, The Producers and Vanilla Sky. "It's kind of an 'L.A. Confidential' meets 'City Hall' meets the Internet," Dowie told the LAT's Tina Daunt. Central to the story is a fictional political blog that lets anonymous posters leave blind comments about people.
The story goes something like this: A beautiful political fundraiser is found dead in the trunk of her car. As City Hall buzzes with gossip and speculation, a blogger posts anonymous comments with profound implications: Maybe the mayor is involved? The mayor's PR advisor — a former Marine and ex-newspaper editor (a character Dowie based on, well, himself) — is called in to do damage control.
Sanger, who has produced more than 40 movies and television episodes since starting his show business career with the help of Mel Brooks in 1979, said he loved the idea. "I read it and was most remarkably surprised to see not just how good it was but that it was already miles ahead of first-time writers who are trying to figure out what the form is. He got it."
Sanger's company and Dowie signed a contract for an undisclosed amount last fall. For the last two months, Dowie has been working on rewrites with Sarah Black, a former senior vice president of actor Tom Cruise's production company at Paramount.
(The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on Dowie's efforts. "We wouldn't react to stuff like that," said spokesman Thom Mrozek. "We stay above the fray.")
Dowie hooked up with Sanger through the producer's wife, Carla Sanger, head of the LA's BEST after-school program.
* Wednesday update: O'Dwyer's, the subscription-only PR website, says today that Dowie has been working on rewrites with Sarah Black, "a former senior VP at Tom Cruise's production company." He also is working on a second screenplay, "Conflict of Interest," that is loosely based on his own criminal case. Dowie is looking for interest at HBO or Showtime: "I hope to do for L.A. City Hall what 'The Sopranos' did for New Jersey."