Pacino to play Dr. Death
Al Pacino is set to play Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a man known as Doctor Death for his involvement in close to one hundred cases of assisted suicide.
The film will follow the story of the doctor as he conducted his first assisted suicide, created the machine that allowed terminally ill patients to take their own lives, and his very public battles to fight for people's rights to die.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian began advertising in newspapers in Detroit offering death counselling and was assisting in suicides using various devices he created to allow the patient to administer the method by which they would die, ensuring that it was their action and not his.
However this still resulted in his losing his medical license and also from being imprisoned for second-degree murder from 1999, serving eight years of a ten year sentence which was given after he sent a videotape of him carrying out an assisted suicide to 60 Minutes.
The film script has already been written by Adam Mazer, adapted from the book Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Assisted Suicide Machine and the Battle to Legalize Euthanasia by Neal Nicol (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com).
Ben Kingsley was previously announced to take the lead, and it's surprising that news of casting changes like this usually mean that the new casting is going down the acting chain, and while I'm not so sure you could say moving to Pacino is a leap up, it's definitely continuing with the same level of commitment on the project, particularly with Barry Levinson directing.
The film will be called You Don't Know Jack, which would suggest that it's going to be a little more on the side of the Doctor and his beliefs.