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HBO Joins Smokehouse Pictures, Sports Illustrated Studios/101 Studios On Feature Doc On Ohio State University Abuse Scandal

Produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Pictures and David C. Glasser of 101 Studios; Oscar And Emmy® Winner Eva Orner Set To Direct


HBO, Smokehouse Pictures and Sports Illustrated Studios/101 Studios announced today the start of production on a feature documentary based on Sports Illustrated’s groundbreaking cover story of the alleged sexual abuse scandal at Ohio State University (OSU) that spanned three decades. The film, produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Pictures and David C. Glasser of 101 Studios, will debut on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max.

Academy Award and Emmy® winner Eva Orner will tell the story through the experiences of the victims of OSU’s former athletics physician, Dr. Richard Strauss. Those voices will include some of the hundreds of male student athlete victims, including All-American wrestlers and football players, many of whom have not spoken out until now. One of those voices – who spoke out for the first time to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim for his explosive cover story – is UFC Heavyweight Champion and OSU alum Mark Coleman.  The film will also examine the university’s failure to act and the allegations that school officials and staff knew about and ignored Dr. Strauss’s crimes.

“I’m honored to join this incredible creative team,” said Orner. “This film is about the largest sexual abuse scandal in the history of American Higher Education. It will give the courageous men who were abused a powerful and clear voice.”

“Grant and I are very proud to be working on this project with HBO,” said Clooney. “It’s a devastating story about people in power abusing and then covering up their criminal actions against students. The fact that it hasn’t been resolved as-of-yet is deeply disturbing.”

“This story of power, abuse and enabling has been concealed for far too long,” said David Hutkin, COO of 101 Studios. “It is because of the courage of these men who have decided to finally speak out that we can finally hold the abusers accountable. We are honored to be able to provide a platform to amplify the voices of these victims.”

George Clooney and Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Pictures serve as producers with David C. Glasser of 101 Studios, Orner and Steven J Berger. Jon Wertheim along with Corey Salter, Colin Smeeton, and Marc Rosen of Sports Illustrated Studios with David Hutkin, Ron Burkle, Bob Yari of 101 Studios will executive produce.

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