WestEnd Films is launching international sales in Cannes on Sinner V. Saints, a comedy based on the true story of the so-called “manacled Mormon” sex scandal. Maisie Williams and Freddie Highmore are lined up to star. Tim Kirkby (Fleabag, Veep, The Pentaverate) is directing with shooting due to begin in the first quarter of next year in the U.S. and UK.
The script is written by Jill Hoppe and based on the book Joyce McKinney And The Case Of The Manacled Mormon by Anthony Delano, as well as news reports. Set in 1970s Los Angeles and London, the film traces a scandal that saw an eccentric MENSA beauty queen go to extreme lengths to stop the Mormon church from stealing away her sexual obsession: a Mormon missionary. Filmmaker Errol Morris previously treated the subject in a 2010 documentary, Tabloid.
Mark Williams (The Accountant, Ozark, Honest Thief) and Andriana Williams (Head of Zero Gravity’s Inspire Division) are producing. Andriana Williams says,”It’s rare to find an over-the-top true story with compelling characters and zany twists and turns like this. The all-consuming passion, absurd lawbreaking, and outrageous antics made news around the world then and can be sure to entertain today.”
Kirby adds, “I’ve never read a more no-holds-barred fever dream of a script that whisks the reader on a journey of sex, obsession, and rock ‘n’ religion like Sinner V. Saints. Obsessive, first love is a magnificent premise, and sprinkle on top a killer true story involving abduction, quirky supporting characters and the era of free love, and you have a cocktail of something very potent. It is a pleasure to roll around in the world of our anti-heroine Joyce McKinney.”
Maya Amsellem, Managing Director of WestEnd Films said: “Sinner V. Saints takes us on a riotous journey, and we were immediately captivated by Jill’s witty script which brings this incredible true story to life. Combining this with Tim’s exciting directorial vision, we are sure this crazy, colorful film will surprise and delight audiences worldwide.”