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What will happen when the guy who directed "The Da Vinci Code" trains his sights on Joseph Smith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Get ready to find out.
Deadline.com reports that a deal is in the works with Warner Bros. that will have Ron Howard directing "Under the Banner of Heaven," an adaptation of Jon Krakauer's 2003 book.
Krakauer's book dovetails two stories: The violent early history of the LDS Church, and the 1984 double murder of Brenda Lafferty and her baby daughter Erica, committed by Brenda's brothers-in-law Ron and Dan Lafferty who were involved in a severely fundamentalist Mormon sect.
The script is being written by Dustin Lance Black, an Oscar winner for "Milk" and once a writer for HBO's "Big Love." (Black, an ex-Mormon, recently completed a play, "8," about the legal battle over the LDS-backed anti-gay-marriage ballot measure in California.)
Krakauer's book drew criticism from LDS Church officials when it was released. News of a movie version is sure to stir the pot again, at a time when two prominent Mormons are running for president and the LDS Church is carefully guarding its image (for example, by calling out journalists who refer to Mormonism as a "cult").
The next question will be: Who will be cast in the principal roles? Suggestions are welcome in the comments below.