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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

Movie, Book Planned About Jim Obergefell’s Historic Same-Sex Marriage Fight

20th Century Fox has bought movie rights about how Over-the-Rhine resident Jim Obergefell and  Cincinnati attorney Al Gerhardstein won the Supreme Court ruling for same-sex marriage last month.

The New York Times says the studio also obtained film rights to “21 Years to Midnight,” the book Obergefell and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Debbie Cenziper plan to write about Obergefell’s relationship with John Arthur, his partner of more than 20 years. The two married in 2013 in Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal, when Arthur was in the final stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease. He died later that year.

Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen – both producers on the “Twilight” movies and “The Fault in our Stars” – will produce the film, according to wire reports.

Next the studio will search for a screenwriter to work with Obergefell and Cenziper.

A proposal for “21 Years to Midnight” has been submitted to publishers. The book has not been written. A publishing deal is “expected as soon as this week,” the Times says.

Writer Cenziper has known Obergefell for 20 years. Her first husband was a cousin to Arthur, she told the Times. Cenziper won a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for housing corruption stories in the Miami Herald.

With the clout of 20th Century Fox and producers from the “Twilight” series, chances are good that a film actually will be made. Just because someone sells movie rights doesn’t always guarantee the story will be seen on the big screen.

Former WCPO-TV anchor Pat Minarcin sold rights to his Channel 9 investigation of serial killer Donald Harvey in the 1980s, but the movie was never made. More than a year ago, a promotional trailer was shot for a movie about the Kings Schools’ Firecrackers jump rope team –but the film hasn’t been cast or shot.  In the 1990s Steven Spielberg talked about making a movie about growing up in Cincinnati from a script written by his sister. The USA Network cable channel announced an unauthorized Marge Schott bio movie in the 1990s, but scuttled the project after developing a script. 

Two films announced by the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission in 2012 have never been filmed: “A Doll’s House” with Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley from director Charles Huddleston and “Johnny Longshot” from director-star Emilio Estevez.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.