Catholic Church Abuse Scandal Getting Movie: DreamWorks Acquires Rights to Boston Globe Story


It’s been more than 10 years since the Boston Globe first reported the decades-long sexual abuse — and subsequent cover-up — plaguing the Massachusetts Catholic Church, setting in motion revelations of similar abuse in the Catholic Church worldwide. Now, the story behind how that abuse was uncovered is set to be told on the big screen, with DreamWorks Studio and Participant Media announcing that they’ve acquired the film rights to the Globe’s reporting.

The paper spent a year investigating abuse allegations, interviewing victims, and reviewing thousands of pages of documents, ultimately revealing that church leadership had made a concerted effort to ignore and in many cases cover-up reported abuse. One accused priest was shuttled from parish to parish, despite the church’s awareness of his record.

The scandal rocked the church on both a national and worldwide level, leading to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law, who had a hand in hiding priests’ serial abuse. Abuse allegations are still rampant today, and DreamWorks executive vice president Jonathan King said the film would capture “a powerful and still-evolving story.”

Members of the Globe’s Spotlight Team — reporters and editors who worked together to investigate and break the story — who will be featured in the film include then-Globe editor Marty Baron, special projects editor Ben Bradlee Jr., Spotlight Team editor Walter “Robby” Robinson, and reporters Michael Rezendes, Sacha Pfeiffer, and Matt Carroll. The team won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003 for their reporting.

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