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20th Century Fox has canceled its Patty Hearst drama “American Heiress,” the studio announced Thursday.
“Twentieth Century Fox Film and its production partners have decided to cancel the studio’s planned project based on the book “American Heiress,” a studio spokesperson said in a statement obtained by TheWrap.
The project, which would recounted how Hearst was kidnapped by and subsequently forced to join the left wing terrorist group Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), was based on the 2016 book “American Heiress” by Jeffrey Toobin. Elle Fanning was attached to star with “Logan” director James Mangold behind the camera.
The studio canceled the film after Hearst said in a statement that she was “saddened and appalled” by the project, and by the fact that it was largely headed up by men. She decried Fox, Toobin and CNN, which is producing a documentary also based on the book, for what she called “a one-sided dialogue romanticizing my torture and rape.”
“This project is attempting to rewrite history and directly flies in the face of the present #MeToo movement where so much progress is being made in regard to listening, and providing a voice, to those who have suffered abuse,” Hearst continued.
In 1974, Hearst, granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, was abducted from her Berkeley, Ca. apartment by the SLA and soon began participating in the group’s criminal activities, including a bank robbery. She was captured by law enforcement 19 months after her kidnapping, and her subsequent trial became a media sensation.
Hearst testified during her that she had been subjected to torture, gaslighting, and repeated rapes during her time with SLA, and that she joined the group to save her life. Despite this, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison, but her sentence was commuted by President Carter, and she was later pardoned by Bill Clinton.