Tom McCarthy to Direct Movie Based on S-Town Podcast
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tom McCarthy is in talks to direct the feature adaptation of the popular podcast S-Town. The movie would see McCarthy re-team with Participant Media, the production company behind best picture-winning Spotlight.
The podcast takes place in 2012, when antiquarian horologist John B. McLemore sent an email to the staff of the show This American Life asking them to investigate an alleged murder in his hometown of Woodstock, Alabama, a place McLemore claimed to despise. After a year of exchanging emails and several months of conversation with McLemore, producer Brian Reed traveled to Woodstock to investigate.
Reed investigated the crime and eventually found that no such murder took place, though he struck up a friendship with the depressed but colorful character of McLemore. He recorded conversations with McLemore and other people in Woodstock, which are played on the podcast.
McLemore committed suicide by drinking potassium cyanide on June 22, 2015, while the podcast was still in production. In the narrative of the podcast, this occurs at the end of the second episode; subsequent episodes deal with the fallout from McLemore's death while exploring more of McLemore's life and character.
McCarthy has received critical acclaim for his writing/direction work for the independent films The Station Agent (2003), The Visitor (2007), Win Win (2011), and Spotlight (2015), the last of which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, won McCarthy the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. Additionally, McCarthy co-wrote the film Up (2009) with Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, for which they received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. McCarthy also wrote the film Million Dollar Arm (2014) and served as a director and executive producer for the Netflix television series 13 Reasons Why (2017).