Deadline reports that Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) is in advanced talks to star in the true crime serial killer thriller The Dating Game, which was once set up at the Netflix streaming service but is now up for grabs in the Cannes market, where Stuart Ford’s AGC is presenting the project to potential buyers. Chloe Okuno (we just saw the trailer for her debut feature Watcher yesterday) is on board to direct the film from a screenplay by Ian MacAllister McDonald that was featured on the Black List.
McDonald’s script is based on the fascinating and strange true story of serial killer Rodney Alcala and Cheryl Bradshaw. Here’s the information:
Bradshaw was a bachelorette on the hit 70s TV matchmaking show The Dating Game and chose handsome and funny bachelor number one, Rodney Alcala. But behind Alcala’s charming facade was a deadly secret: he was a psychopathic serial killer in the midst of a murder spree. On the show Bradshaw asked Alcala questions like, “I’m serving you for dinner. What are you called and what do you look like?” Alcala responded to the latter, saying, “I’m called the banana and I look good.” “Can you be a little more descriptive?” Bradshaw asked Alcala. “Peel me,” he said, and the audience laughed.
At that time, Alcala had murdered five women and been convicted of the attempted murder of a 12-year-old girl, but he made it onto the show because background checks were more lax. That left Bradshaw in a position where she was supposed to go on a chaperoned date with Alcala, only to find she was put off by his odd vibe. In 1980, he was sentenced to death for a murder and investigators found evidence — hundreds of photos of women, girls and boys, and keepsakes police believed were from victims — in a storage locker. While he would appeal several times, when advances in DNA were made, he was tied to more murders. His execution was postponed indefinitely when California declared a moratorium on death penalty cases in 2019, but Alcala died of natural causes last year while on death row.
Detectives have estimated he may have killed as many as 130 people. The film revolves around the events of the game show.
The role of Rodney Alcala has not yet been cast. The Dating Game is expected to go into production this summer with AGC co-producing. The film is being produced by J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules for BoulderLight Pictures, Roy Lee and Miri Yoon for Vertigo Entertainment, and Kendrick for Let’s Go Again.
Ford had this to say about The Dating Game:
We are delighted to renew our relationship with Chloe and Roy having been privileged enough to be a partner on Watcher. The Dating Game promises to be a fresh and terrifying atmospheric slice of true crime horror”.
Chloe is the perfect filmmaker to helm this prescient tale of suspicion, doubt, and psychosis. We are thrilled to work with her again to bring this project to life.”
And Margules said:
We couldn’t be more thrilled to be partnering with Stuart and the rest of the AGC crew to tell this fascinating story told by the visionary Chloe Okuno and starring the spectacular Anna Kendrick. As popular as the true crime genre is, we know that audiences have never seen anything quite like this.”
The Dating Game sounds very interesting to me, and I look forward to seeing how it’s going to turn out. What do you think about this story being turned into a movie? Let us know by leaving a comment below.