Knox Movie Offer Is Sharply Withdrawn; Hardly Helpful to Knox Book Agent Robert Barnett
Posted by Peter Quennell
One problem is that Knox is not the real victim in the case and a great deal of compassion still resides for Meredith. Earning windfall blood money from the cruel death of a claimed close friend is hardly a classy way to go.
A second problem is that we are still only at the end of the second act of a three act play in terms of the trials and appeals, and the Italian Supreme Court in the third act to come will almost certainly be no gullible pushover. And a whining or inaccurate book or movie demonising Italy and Italians (as her complaints about Capanne already have done) might not help her legal prospects one little bit.
A third problem is that Italy’s officialdom and its population tend to maintain a hard and unblinking belief in the evidence against Sollecito and Knox, especially as the million dollar PR campaign largely flew below the radar there and they saw much of the hard case and a callous Knox live on TV. For example in Florence and Milan.
A fourth problem is that Amanda Knox and her personal life and her trials and time in Capanne are likely to be a low-viewership yawn. Our main poster Lauowolf did a great job last October of pointing this out.
Does her story have the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster? Probably not.
For one thing, the producer types would have to know that the case is still live. The public won’t be keeping track of that, or at best will be considering it a case of the prosecutor continuing to seek revenge.
But people looking to invest millions of dollars in movies tend to go into all the fine print. And the looming third trial in 2011 is just the kind of complication they are likely to want to avoid. And there’s just too much inconvenient information floating around about the story.
Finally, there really isn’t that much “there” there with Amanda Knox herself. What would her storyline be, anyway, and who does it appeal to?
- Is it the story of the young lovers, AK and RS? Nah, AK and RS are not going to complete the story arc for them, so no drama-romance. And you can’t substitute the Seattle boyfriend, because he’d look like a fool.
- Is it the story of Edda, getting her daughter back, a la Not Without My Daughter? Nah, Amanda is getting a bit old for that storyline to work. The PR played out this line in Amanda’s absence, so that it is already stale, and besides, the target audience is wrong. The Lifetime movie worked that thread, and it didn’t really do all that well.
- Is it a story of Amanda suffering, arrested, in prison, on trial? Nah, there really isn’t much filmic going on there. Arrested people end up sitting in rooms, and prison is boring. Even if they wanted to spend a lot of time on AK giving the performance of her life in court, they’d have to deal somehow with the accusations and evidence. And they really, really don’t want to do any of that.
- Is it the story of Amanda herself? Nah, the PR has reduced her to such a little painted doll that there isn’t anything to be done with her. Seriously, weekly mass and the prison choir? Or hanging out with the middle-aged married Italian political type? Who wants to watch a movie of that? They’ve set her up as a frail, pale victim, and it is difficult to create an entire movie focusing on someone being done to, rather than doing.
Now there is a FIFTH problem looming large.
The up-and-coming movie producer Chad Verdi (left above) has just announced that he has withdrawn a million dollar offer for a Knox movie, implying that he may have been misled. This statement is likely to chill the prospects for any other.
Rhode Island Producer Chad A. Verdi has withdrawn his official offer of One Million Dollars (U.S. $1,000,000) for Amanda Knox’s life rights. The film was to be produced by Mr. Verdi and Noah Kraft if a deal could have been reached. The offer was made through Verdi Productions and was being handled by Hollywood entertainment attorney, Anita First.
Mr. Verdi, the President and CEO of Verdi Productions (VP), stated, “After reviewing all the information we had involving the Knox case, I have decided it was not the inspirational feel good story that VP was looking for and we have withdrawn our offer.”
Very well done, Mr Verdi. That is an act of some class.
The prominent and respected Washington lawyer and book agent Robert Barnett (right above) was seemingly roped in by Knox PR chief David Marriott a month ago to work miracles for Knox in the field of book publishing.
Robert Barnett seems to have made no public statement about it as yet. Seemingly Mr Barnett and all those other supposed eager book agents did not exactly come looking for a deal.
If you read how the Washington Post describes it, the deal was very much promoted by a frenetic Marriott.
“He has a very strong resume,” said Knox family spokesman Dave Marriott, who announced the deal Monday…
Why Barnett? His name “popped up in conversations with many people,” Marriott told us. Though he doesn’t call himself a literary agent, Barnett knows his way around seven-figure deals (he’s also repped James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, Rosie O’Donnell and Barbra Streisand) — and the Knox family liked the fact that he’s a lawyer with a powerful firm behind him.
Another plus: He’s arguably a bargain, charging a hefty hourly fee instead of the standard 15 percent commission. He was hired after flying to Seattle and meeting with the Knox family.
A bargain? Hmmm. Perhaps Mr Barnett is at this very moment reading the same judges’ reports and the other in-depth materials that have turned off Mr Verdi, and wondering whether he was snowed.
Or reviewing his hourly fee.
A good story has a theme and a climax. A good movie has a suspense. The climax ended with the murder. So the story is there upto a point. But where is the suspense? There is no movie for her.
It is perhaps still possible to have a movie but that will certainly be not to her liking!
Now we can see how the 2 million dollar PR machine is actually working against her! I read in the PMF forums that she has not yet settled her payments and doubt she will be able to settle them anytime soon. I feel sad that 300 euro loan ended up in a 2 million dollar liability!
1/6/12 Epiphany, or 12th Day of Christmas
E News aired a quickie update on Knox about five minutes ago. It showed her at the microphone speaking through tears right after her release. With shaky voice she said, “My family is the most important thing to me right now…(tremble, cry)...and I just want to go…(pause)...and be with them right now.” It was quite noticeable that she refused to utter the words “go home”, and seemed to qualify her need for the family to make it sound temporary.
The recent talk of Amanda not owing anything to her family despite the debt they leaped into to save her is foolish. She most certainly does owe her family. It was Amanda’s legal expenses, not theirs.
E News mentioned her book deal, presumably with Barnett. They quoted Tom Wright as saying Amanda is now struggling to answer the question, “Who am I? What do I do next?” They reported that James Terrano communicated with Knox while she was in prison. Madison Paxton the Number One Friend was highlighted.
Photos from People magazine showed Knox kissing Terrano dressed in her pink and blue plaid jacket. The piece ended with the thought that her future is uncertain but Amanda is now simply glad to be free.
Casey Anthony on Skype:
They were actually planning yet another movie?!
I wonder what movie producer Ron Howard is going to do after he learns that Chad Verdi has withdrawn his movie offer for Amanda Knox’s life rights?
I suspect Ron Howard will do justice by calling his Mayberry father, Sheriff Andy Taylor and his loyal Deputy Barney Fife to have Amanda Knox arrested and brought back to Italy.
No doubt Sheriff Taylor and Deputy Fife will also issue a strong warning to the Knox & Mellas clans and their PR entourage that never will they be welcome in Mayberry U.S.A.!
There is a god in heaven. Hallelujah.
How about a video diary? Full control and no awkward questions possible.
I see that GroundReport has branded the $1,000,000 Verdi offer and its withdrawal as nothing more than a publicity stunt.
Who is Chad Verdi anyway? Is he anyone of significance whose opinion would count in a wider public sphere in the USA?
Hi Thundering. As the post says Chad Verdi’s an up-and-coming producer. He puts together some popular series. The point is not so much that he is “anyone of significance whose opinion would count in a wider public sphere in the USA” as that he is a typical producer and any others who get interested are likely to be not very different.
He said he found it not an inspirational or feel-good story on a deeper look. That reason seems to ring true. Will any other producers conclude very differently? The Verdi withdrawal story is now on hundreds of websites. No wonder Marriott’s paid “grassroots” crowd on the low-traffic Ground Report are so worried.
The same crowd that gives us publicity stunt after publicity stunt. Would a Knox movie be other than that?
Best wishes to RS and Annie!
Free advice: Stay away from drugs, please!
“I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.”—Oscar Wilde
speaking of movies, Lifetime which made the Hayden Panettiere version about Knox called “Murder on Trial in Italy” is releasing a movie next week with Rob Lowe who plays Drew Peterson. Peterson the cop continued to be buoyant and smiling despite one wife dead in a bathtub supposedly by accident, and Stacey, his youngest wife missing.
I think Amanda wants to be a star, but desires stardom not in connection with Kercher’s murder. Someone said she didn’t want her life to be all about the four years in Capanne.
I’m glad you’re staying on to comment. I meant to say so earlier but had computer down day.
For chami (who says:
A good story has a theme and a climax. A good movie has a suspense. The climax ended with the murder. So the story is there up to a point. But where is the suspense? There is no movie for her.)
Overall, you are right, but any story presuming Amanda’s innocence begins to “take” with her discovery of the open cottage door, Meredith’s locked door, Amanda’s alarm… Followed by shower…
A fictitious friendship with Meredith? Raffaele tears her away from cottage pals? She’s flaunting a new boyfriend already & Raffaele: “Amanda? That’s over.”
Any drama moves quickly into Meredith’s discovered body, following which Amanda becomes the victim of an intimidating police. (Lumumba’s becoming a victim of Amanda is well forgotten.)
Whereas Lifetime’s story starring Hayden Panettiere could end with its trace of irresolution because of the timing, Amanda stars in the news of her homecoming. Four years in jail are no story at all. Over & done, prison is simply a bore.
The public knows too much already.
We were wondering whether the upcoming book “Meredith” by John Kercher would discuss the case.
I think he’ll address the impact of losing his daughter.
What she was like, and how gifted.
The effects of the trial and Knox PR on his family.
I don’t think he will discuss the case as it concerns guilt or innocence while the matter is still before the courts, but he will still discuss evidence presented in court, and let us decide.
It will be a very human story, the very best kind.
Hi Ergon. Yes there’s to be some mention in the book of Meredith in Perugia but a lot of it is about Meredith growing up. John wrote almost all of it several years ago, as we posted.
We have read some of what John has written (he has books on Amazon and we reposted his three newspaper articles) and he is a talented writer with a very interesting subject - someone who was bright, funny, and going somewhere in a hurry.
She was probably the most talented girl of AK’s own age that AK ever encountered - at a time when AK was rudderless, almost friendless, undisciplined, on drugs, working a very light study load, unattractive to the best boys, too low on money if she intended to stay a year, and soon to be jobless.
Good luck to Robert Barnett in making a book out of that other than one of a sad case. He should get his hands on the psych tests done in 2009 which led to the denial of house arrest.
Good. The truth will out as they say. I wonder when the grassroots campaign will dry up through lack of funds?
Amanda Knox so far has been presented as an “innocent abroad”. If her release from a corrupt Italian justice system is not an “inspirational feel good story”, it begs the question why not?
The only answer I could find to that question is that Chad Verdi believes her to be guilty and that it is too obvious as to waste any time filming a movie focusing on her acquittal and presenting it as a success story to the American public.
No films, book deals likely to be scuppered, TV interviews and speaking tours off-limits. What’s left? Pre-recorded, low-earner ‘soft’ TV emissions? Newspapers and magazines?
Family in financial difficulties and no obvious alternative means to pay the huge bills. More bills to come with the next level of appeal at Cassazione - she has to be represented and the lawyers need to be paid. Yet, perhaps not. As they are suggesting over on PMF, the springing was a done deal between the US and Italy at diplomatic level with a chain of recognisable links starting from FOA to the US ambassador in Rome.
So they believe that that’s it and she need not be concerned any more and they can ignore any financial demands coming from Italy (great way to repay the lawyers who not only defended but ‘loved’ her!).
But not in the US now can they?
So with no mega deals, unpaid bills, house repossessions(?), growing teenage half siblings tightening the belt on those extra things material, an acquitted convict hoping to return to university the fees for which have to be paid (by whom?), a sister who gave up her own university course (has she gone back yet?) to help save the pennies. Surely the rose-tinted specs will soon come off and relations will begin to fray at home?
A book deal I would imagine could still be possible & might sell.
Interest would lie in the tale as Amanda would spin it (helped by a knowledgeable co-author who could look after the form.)
Popular theme: “A series of unfortunate events.”
I wonder what category it would be in?
Fiction: fantasy, fairy tale, epic tale?
Surely not biography?
Yes, I suppose curiosity would get the better of many
The Psych tests done in 2009 that lead to Judge Claudia Matteini’s denying them bail? Do we have a summary?
I am far away and I have no real idea of how things work. But I still will try to present a far away view (which may or may not be realistic).
Movie (if one is there at all) will have their own story written by their own scriptwriters and some how they want to use the tag line “based on a real story” but will also say in smaller prints “as told by…” and “no liabilities…” - after all their lawyers will come out with suitable text that can mean anything.
People do not care if the facts are perfect or the details match perfectly. They just want the heroine should be sexy and story not really boring. Some violent action is just like some good spice thrown in for added flavour.
Book is a different kettle. It is important to get some good reviewers and they are unfortunately knowledgeable. You can get some to write some decent review but there are too many of them: hard luck, I would say. In a book the author is in the front and she will have to tell and act and present her version consistently. It does not matter if it is a lie, distilled lie, but she need to be consistent for the rest of her life. People implicitly assume what is there in a book is truth and absolute truth. Book is not a movie.
The target audiences are completely different. And both will be cruel and merciless.
I doubt Amanda’s story would appeal to most people because lets be honest, as racist the USA is, more then half of the population is a minority. Amanda knox represents white Justice, middle class white female kills her half minority flat mates, blames it on the black guy, goes to jail, and then blames it on the black guy again. Anyways, I am sick of this family, if Justice doesn’t prevail in Italy I hope the go broke and I hope Amanda suffers for the rest of her life for what she did.
Also, I notice Raff is engaged, I wonder if there is something going on in his camp for cessation. I read through Hellmans report it looks like a Joke, not to mention Raf looks happy while amanda looks miserable. Maybe they are going to turn on Amanda if the appeal is overturned since she probably won’t be there. Maybe try to make it out like Raf was an innocent brought into this and it was Amanda who did the crime while Raf was a naive boy brought into this mess to like for his Girlfriend.
I can’t believe Raf is ‘engaged’ after a few months of freedom from prison. Certainly seems in a rush. Perhaps the FB status just means he is in a committed relationship. I have to wonder iif his new girlfriend enjoys the notoriety of dating Raff. She certainly does not seem to be shy, judging from her photos. Reminds me of AK in some ways with some of her poses.
Having always wondered about the Monster of Florence case and Mignini’s connection, I came across this summary which is NOT written by Doug Preston. In it Mignini is not even mentioned. The crimes were hideous and certainly seem to have been committed by a very sick individual/persons. I can understand why people thought they were done by persons in a satanic cult.
@chami. “cruel and merciless” - ah, Karma!!
I beg to differ. You are confused between the individual and the nation. A mob is NOT a sum total of the individuals. An army is different from the mob. NO government represents their own people to the last bit.
Racism is there in all countries, including African countries. And Italy or Germany is no exception. In fact my personal opinion is that Americans are least racist and they are more serious about doing something about it.
Blame it on the black guy is kind of ingrained in the psychology. The US has assimilated much more than any other European countries. The major problem is with power. Americans are drunk with power.
Once one taxi driver in NYC told me: “I am black and so are you. And you are ordering me, an American, to go here and there. Just because you are having more money than me. This is injustice and this is what makes me angry”. I had such a good laugh that he thought that I am mad.
Don’t you think that her family is doing what they are expected to do naturally? What you would have done in their place? Or, perhaps I also would have done the same.
If I have to find fault, I find fault with the judiciary and the system. But I also know that they are not perfect and they are not perfect anywhere in the world. We need to wake up and do our best to make it better, little by little. Do you blame the lawyers? ALL the lawyers have performed wonderfully.
Her story has no appeal because it lacks humanity.
We appreciate things that we lack ourselves.
She has nothing to offer us.
La Knox would do better to forgo books (too taxing on her writing inabilities) and public appearances (too inarticulate and dishonest) and simply do a brief article for her local champion, The West Seattle Herald. They stood by her through those four awful years abroad, aimed verbal spears at her tormentors, and kept West Seattleites abreast of all of the Family’s fundraising efforts and Christmas wishes. Last week’s issue gave half of the front page to a look back at her Freedom, as the “biggest story, internationally” for the WSH.
She wouldn’t have to say much, or name names; just a “hey, thanks for caring, dudes, and please go away now, thank you. Peace.”
In stark contrast to her writing inabilities (and to her behaviour and adventures since departing WS for college) , the Herald runs a column by a young grad named Kyra Lin Hom (she also wrote the column during her senior year at WS High). Kyra’s columns ( along with Georgie Kunkel’s) are the only thing worth reading in that otherwise pointless rag. Not only does Kyra have the required grasp of the English language, she somehow managed to grow up with a sense of what actually matters in life and ponders topics that it would have done Knox well to dwell upon before, during and after her European juggernaut.
I’m guessing that, with the adrenaline rush of the prodigal ex-con’s return having worn off, the family are now settling into a state of depression, faced with insurmountable bills, no more excuses to go abroad (Chris and Edda now have to face each other, once again, across the dinner table every night) and the recognition that their little girl isn’t one, no, really, she isn’t, and she’s not so very special, or at least, not the hot commodity the media led them to believe.
Severino’s point is important: “Amanda knox represents white Justice, middle class white female kills her half minority flat mate, blames it on the black guy, goes to jail, and then blames it on the black guy again.”
A comment by Chami brings me to insight when he says: “Her story has no appeal because it lacks humanity.”
And I must thank mimi for the Seattle reference (I’ve known nothing of the West Seattle Herald.)
But mimi, you are rather severe in speaking of Knox’s “writing inabilities.”
Amanda has written carelessly & recklessly. She passed through life with impunity—before Meredith. Thus carelessly & recklessly has she also lied.
Fact is, as it seems, that if she has any special ability, it has to do with languages.
While as for writing, it requires only the simple direct statement to be effective. Or, when impelled by sentiment, feeling or passion, to become eloquent.
What Amanda has lacked, grossly & unforgivably, is simple honesty & respect for truth. She thinks to lie her way into freedom & redemption. As matters stand, her foolish family would support her in this.
I read a post elsewhere recently that I thought put Knox’s prospective book rather wittily, saying it would have to be an “If I did it..” Did O.J. Simpson end up writing one of those? After having read many pro-Knox comments on other sites, this is great news about the film interest drying up.
OJ Simpson did publish a book called “If I Did It: Confessions Of A Killer” http://www.amazon.com/If-I-Did-Confessions-Killer/dp/0825305888
He (shadow) wrote it in part because he was so desperate for money and in part because of the kind of taunting narcissistic mindset that has some killers flying too close to the sun.
It was his brazen attempts to avoid paying ANYTHING to the father of the murdered Ron Goldman that finally brought him down. He was desperate to round up some mementos he had secretly distributed so he could secretly sell them to pay his bills - but racing into a Vegas hotel room with some thugs armed with with guns to retrieve them… well, he has years in the big house in north Nevada to figure out if that was smart.
Amanda Knox came across to us as brazen and narcissistic in court, while Sollecito kept as quiet as a mouse. Now they seem to have switched roles, and it could be Sollecito babbling on like OJ that brings their house of cards crashing down.
@Nell - You are so right. Even I have been thinking about it and I wonder why her supporters can’t see it. I mean, look at this - “a naive, sweet, trusting, innocent girl is betrayed by police and wrongly accused. Goes to jail but fights to clear her name, keeps smiling and optimistic through the ordeal, beats the odds and finally justice prevails. She is back home with her family to a new life with a new love”. What is not inspirational or feed good about it? This is the stuff that inspirational movies are made of.
I think irrespective of whether Verdi believes her guilty or not, I think after reviewing the case, he has realised that its not as simple as all that at all.There is no way they will be able to make a movie interesting and at least a teeny bit accurate without presenting the facts of the case and if they do so, even the supporters who support her without knowing the facts might start doubting her.
Noone on earth can read her story and not have a “ohh, but if she didn’t do it, then why did she…....” moment. Maybe 90% of her supporters (apart from the paid shrills) believe in her only because they know nothing about the facts of the case and are led by the paid pr campaign. This is very very evident from the stupid comments they make.
I think Verdi realised that they just won’t be able to present the case without casting serious doubts on her innocence and there is no way that can come off as feel good, no matter what the final outcome is.
Anyway, I hope other movie makers and book agents feel the same. I would really hate to think that she not only got away with it but is making money out of it. On the other hand, if you see her photos, she does look quite miserable most of the time, especially around her family. The photos captioned “AK enjoying christmas with her family” etc make me laugh as she looks as she’d rather be anywhere but with her family.
The only photos in which she is smiling are the ones with that new joker boyfriend. This, along with the speed with which she moved out of her parent’s house after all the talk about “being with family” makes me wonder if they have started pressuring her already to pay back the money.
RS’s family, on the other hand, do not probably have any such ambitious expectations from him. He remains a joke as always. His new gf is probably just a way of trying to prove that he is not a loser after he made statements about their “crushed love” and then saw AK frolicking with her new guy all over. Even the captions to the photos are really silly and seem like he is trying too hard to show off how cool and happy he is.
Actually in my personal opinion (it is nothing but an opinion, a strange feeling in the deep guts or I am just imagining, aka AK), RS and RG are both, individually and jointly, victims of AK’s manipulation. AK has something like fatal attraction and these two moths flew into it. She is a stranger to love and knows too well how to use sex as an weapon. She has used men perhaps too many times before…
RG do not have any family support and he is the one most vulnerable. Do not see him through the American eye; he is, psychologically speaking, still in the Ivory coast. AK was unhappy to be in the prison because she found herself powerless as her charm and beauty failed to work (well, perhaps not, but that is a different post!).
Have anyone seen a photo of AK looking happy and carefree?- No, not the toddler photos… but seriously, something is missing.
I sometimes feel, after reading Follain, that she has used her charm on her lawyers also. Who knows, but one of my lawyer friend says that he has been trying to devoid himself of silly emotions for the last two decades, unsuccessfully.
RS’s family has done a very good job- quietly and powerfully. Papa has real good connections, it appears.
“Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.”—Oscar Wilde
“Papa has real good connections, it appears. “
Right. ( ..!..) I have collected some of those for you. Links are ordered from past to present days.
For a better understanding I recommend this too:
A link seems broken. This should work:
Hi Chami and ncountryside. I didnt know of some of those connections but in his his taped conversations with his daughter Vanessa he came across like the bad guy in a raincoat in a film noir. Edward G Robinson maybe. .
Papa Doc now tells Rafaelle to lay off the getting-married talk and the narcissistic OJ Simpson-like burbling about himself on Facebook. The doc says Annie is just a friend and Raffaelle is not really engaged to her.
The doc also says his legal bills will be be around one million Euros and if Cassation denies the prosecution appeal he will seek 300,000 Euros in damages to cover the costs of the 12 consultants he hired.
I believe you are absolutely right with your suggestion that something is not right with the relationship between Amanda Knox and her family. After her return home, it took her only a few weeks to find another boyfriend and move in with him. In my opinion Amanda’s home isn’t a pleasant place to be, because she cannot fool them. They know what they protected her from. They know she is guilty and she knows they know. For her it is much easier to fool someone who gives her the benefit of the doubt.
I also agree that she feels very comfortable in the presence of men, I already noticed that when she touched Carlo Dalla Vedova’s hand in court. She needs any attention she can get from men. Judging by the photos, Carlo Dalla Vedova seemed to have been rather uncomfortable with this kind of affection from Amanda Knox. I do believe Meredith Kercher was right when she told her friend that she suspected Amanda Knox had a very low self esteem. It is common with women who use sex as means to gain influence over men.
According to Amanda Knox she had unprotected sex with two strangers. Is she really that careless that she doesn’t mind to get infected with HIV or another disease, or getting pregnant from someone she doesn’t even know? My take on this is that she didn’t dare to insist in the use of a condom, neither to reject this man, because then she would have risked to lose him. She feared the loss of attention more than a potentially deadly disease or an unwanted pregnancy.
I absolutely agree with you.
I paid the Verdi Productions website and found, under their news section…this article by Peter!
So, I gues that might be a clue to what Verdi thinks. LOL
I meant “paid a visit to”...