Terry Rossio and Dr. Jocelyn Stamat have acquired the rights to Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines – The Truth Behind A Tragedy written by Dr. Andrew Wakefield for a feature adaptation. They, through their Chamaelon Prods. banner, also acquired the life rights of Dr. Wakefield. The book, published in 2010 and with a foreword written by Jenny McCarthy, details the key events surrounding the 1998 paper in the British medical journal The Lancet, co-authored by Dr. Wakefield, that investigated a potential link between chronic enterocolitis and neuropsychiatric dysfunction in 12 children, most of whom had received the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.
The report set off a firestorm of debate among the growing autism and autism spectrum communities in this country and around the globe.
In 2010, The Lancet retracted the paper after accusations of misconduct were leveled against the co-authors. That same year, the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council, in the lengthiest trial in its history, revoked Dr. Wakefield’s medical license.
Rossio and Dr. Jocelyn Stamat will adapt the book for the big screen and also produce. “Dr. Wakefield is clearly a polarizing figure, reviled by the general public yet also revered by many. The details and drama surrounding his life are even more remarkable than generally known,” said Rossio in making the announcement.
Dr. Stamat, a screenwriter/director, is also a practicing otolaryngologist, Harvard graduate, and graduate of Duke University School of Medicine.
Dr. Wakefield recently re-entered the public sphere with the controversial documentary film Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe which was at first accepted and then rejected by the Tribeca Film Festival. The film is currently playing, however, in New York and Los Angeles.