Amazon Wins Bidding War for Juicy Vanity Fair Story

Amazon has emerged the victor in another massive bidding war.

Following a competitive process, the Jennifer Salke-led streamer’s MGM Studios has won the rights to adapt the Vanity Fair story, “True Crime, True Faith: The Serial Killer and the Texas Mom Who Stopped Him,” which ran in the magazine’s September issue. The Julie Miller-penned piece reveals the story behind the 1981 abduction of Margy Palm by serial killer Stephen Morin outside a Texas Kmart. Though Morin never gained the pop culture notoriety of Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer, he was suspected of more murders than either was convicted of.

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As Miller’s story showcases, Palm, who ultimately escaped, maintained a relationship with her captor. In fact, after Morin’s arrest, he began calling, writing and even sending Palm Christmas cards from prison. According to Miller, a friendship of sorts took hold, with Palm visiting Morin behind bars roughly 15 times, even making the trip to see him on death row shortly before he was executed. As Palm tells Miller, she had been approached by any number of agents, authors and high-profile producers to adapt her story in the past, but she wasn’t ready to share it in full, in large part because she had yet to fully unpack the trauma until now.

The story, which published online in early August, had been the subject of a major bidding war in recent months, with multiple A-list stars said to be throwing their hats in the ring to produce. As one dealmaker put it a few weeks back, the “whole town is salivating” over the IP and its potential. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that a celebrity-driven production company is already in advanced talks to board the TV adaption alongside Amazon’s MGM Studios.

News of a series adaption, should it move forward, comes as the larger IP market has grown increasingly frothy amid Hollywood’s back-to-back strikes, which have grounded production to a halt and left the industry with little else to sell. Amazon has been an active participant, recently winning a bidding war for rights to Glossy, the Marisa Meltzer best-seller about the millennium beauty brand and its female founder Emily Weiss, as well. Per multiple sources, Pet Sematary’s Lindsey Anderson Beer and her production company LAB Brew are attached to produce what’s expected to be an ongoing series at the streaming service. Amazon, sources say, also froze documentary rights for the story.

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