The book "Defending a Monster," written by John Wayne Gacy's defense attorney Sam Amirante and Lake Zurich attorney Danny Broderick, is being made into a movie -- maybe even two movies.
Last week, Amirante and Broderick sold the movie option for the book to Leeden Media LLC, a new Hollywood production company. As part of the deal, Amirante and Broderick will be listed as "story consultants" in the film's credits.
Broderick declined to give financial details about the deal, saying it all depends on the movie's budget and success.
"It's not like anything's going to happen tomorrow. This will be a project that takes years ... if it happens at all. But it's very exciting for us," Broderick said.
Amirante, of Barrington, and Broderick also signed another movie deal Nov. 20 with DM Documentary LLC to make a 90-minute documentary film about their book. The company is run by director/producer Scott Prestin, a native of Libertyville, and Chicago cinematographer Marc Menet.
The filmmakers began shooting footage for the still-untitled documentary last week, after Leeden Media gave the green light to the project.
The book "Defending a Monster" was released in August. It details Amirante's take on Gacy as a mentally ill person, the struggle to provide him with a fair trial, and what it was it was like to defend a serial killer who was the most hated man in America.
Following a nationwide book tour, "Defending a Monster" has consistently ranked on the top 10 on Amazon.com's legal history best-seller list, occasionally sitting at number one, Amirante said.
"We have no idea how many (books) they've sold. But the numbers have been steady," Amirante said.
The movie deal took shape after someone saw the book in the Book Soup bookstore in Los Angeles, read it, and recommended it to up-and-coming director Julian Higgins.
Higgins, along with Winnetka native Patty West, a producer with Leeden Media, arranged to meet with Amirante and Broderick to discuss the project.
"They see the book the same way we tried to present it, that it's not really a book about Gacy. It's a book about the Constitution. They don't want to turn it into some type of horror flick," Broderick said. "They now have to develop it, write a script ... shop the script, and hopefully some big-name actors will sign on. We have very, very high hopes for this. These guys really believe in this movie."
Amirante said Gacy's trial was his first case in private practice, and these young filmmakers hope this movie is their first big-screen splash.
"It's very flattering," Amirante said.