Amazon Studios is developing a movie about pioneering investigative journalist Ida Tarbell and her battle against industrial magnate John D. Rockefeller.
Amazon has acquired movie rights to Mark McDevitt’s “Ida Tarbell,” which was named to the 2015 Black List, and set it up with Tom Drumm of Think Tank Management & Production. Think Tank manager Kate Hart brought the Tarbell script into the company and will be an associate producer on the project.
“Ida Tarbell” is the first feature sale for McDevitt, an Irish writer who moved to New York in 1994. The script focuses on Tarbell’s magazine series “The History of the Standard Oil Company,” which explained meticulously how Rockefeller had monopolized the country’s oil business, backed up by thousands of pages of documents and interviews with the corporation’s executives and competitors, government regulators and academic experts.
Her pioneering expose on Standard Oil began in the November 1902 issue of McClure’s and continued through 19 issues. Rockefeller, who had retired, was the best-known businessman in the country at that point.
Drumm was an executive producer on the 2013 drama “Anna,” starring Mark Strong.
Five Amazon titles screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May — Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society,” Nicolas Winding Refn’s “The Neon Demon,” Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” and his Iggy Pop documentary “Gimme Danger” and Park Chan-wook’s “The Handmaiden.”
The streaming service picked up Kate Winslet’s “The Dressmaker” during Cannes along with Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here” with Joaquin Phoenix, Mike Leigh’s “Peterloo” and Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman.”
McDevitt is repped by UTA, Think Tank Management and Frankfurt Kurnit. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.