Justified’s Nick Searcy to Direct Gosnell Abortion Crime Drama

The latest milestone for a film telling what the media won’t.

With each milestone in its development, the Gosnell movie makes it harder and harder for the media to ignore the name of “America's biggest serial killer.” 

FX’s Justified star Nick Searcy will direct Gosnell, a crime drama telling what the media refused to – the story of convicted Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell. The Hollywood Reporter broke the story March 18 and detailed how Searcy felt “both excited and humbled” to voice the “story that many in Hollywood were unwilling to tell.” 

Kermit Gosnell was convicted May 2013 of first-degree murder of three babies (while the Grand Jury Report, The Hollywood Reporter noted, “alleges Gosnell killed hundreds of infants by sticking scissors into their necks”). The trial, in which witnesses described baby abortion survivors “swimming" in toilets “to get out,” attracted a mere 12 – 15 reporters. Only after 56 days, multiple letters from members of the House of Representatives and a public outcry, did all three broadcast networks report on Gosnell. 

The movie campaign itself faced censorship. But after raising more than $2.2 million dollars, Gosnell became the most successful crowdfunded movie on Indiegogo. 

Searcy joins a film team boasting John Sullivan (co-director of America and 2016: Obama’s America) as executive producer and Andrew Klavan (author of True Crime and Don’t Say a Word) as writer. From the beginning, producers Phelim McAleer, Ann McElhinney and Magdalena Segieda (the FrackNation team) headed Gosnell

Addressing media censorship, The Hollywood Reporter announced that “part of the story that Searcy, Klavan and the other filmmakers plan to tell is what some have likened to a press cover-up of Gosnell’s brutality.”

Feeling “both excited and humbled,” Searcy explained, “[i]t is a story that many in Hollywood were unwilling to tell, and I am grateful to Ann, Phelim and Magdalena for having the courage to tell it.” 

An Indiegogo update announced the “wonderful and exciting news” while asking for additional funding. “From the moment we told Nick Searcy about this project, he offered enthusiastic support,” the producers stressed, before outlining Nick’s film plan: 

Nick has said that he feels a great responsibility to you, our investors, to answer and explore three important aspects of the story: what really happened in that anonymous brick building in West Philadelphia, why was it allowed to happen, and most importantly, why did no one want to talk about it after it happened?

Besides starring in Justified, Searcy has appeared in several films including Moneyball, Cast Away and Fried Green Tomatoes.

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.