It’s said that truth is stranger than fiction and that is no more apparent than in THE SEARCH FOR ISABELLA V., written by Dan McDermott. The long in development project is now set up at Sierra/Affinity and based on the apparently true story of a billionaire heiress who went on the run, only to have her wealthy father send hit men after her to track her down.
In 2003, a post appeared on BlogSpot, starting with: “On March 2, 2003, at 4:12 pm, I disappeared. My name is isabella v., but it’s not. I’m twentysomething and I am an international fugitive.” This blogger, whoever she really is (some theorize she’s part of the V. Finck family), continued to post anonymously and cryptically about her escapades of being on the run, including acquiring passports and money. The blog is since defunct and inaccessible, which isn’t very surprising.
A lengthy and investigative piece into Isabella was written by John H. Richardson of Esquire in 2007 and whether or not the story is real (any part of it), it’s ripe for an adaptation. The potential of it being true is an added bonus.
The project was previously set up at Essential Pictures and Brightlight Pictures, with Natalie Portman in talks to star. Dan Gordon and Chase Palmer also worked on the script at some point. Now it is being produced by Zak Kadison and McDermott with Sierra/Affinity, whose upcoming films include The Coldest City, Blackout, and Layover.
McDermott is the creator of the 2006 Lifetime series Angela’s Eyes and an executive producer on ABC’s The Real O’Neals. He is currently writing the scripts for Highway Robbery; The Adventurers Club for Paramount, based on his original pitch; and the Soylent Green remake for Warner Bros.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor