TELEVISION & FILM
Readers of Under The Trestle and Chasing The Squirrel may see both fascinating stories on the screen sometime in the not so distant future.
Mactavish Pictures acquired the film rights to Under The Trestle in early-2020 (Click here for Press Release). Highly-regarded documentary film-maker Scott Mactavish is developing the book's true story of the 1980 disappearance of Gina Renee Hall as a documentary film or series. Mactavish's previous work includes the critically-acclaimed documentary, MURPH: The Protector (2012), which was short-listed for four Academy Award nominations. MURPH tells the heroic story of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Navy Seal killed in Afghanistan in 2005 in Operation Red Wing.
For the Under The Trestle project, Mactavish Pictures has produced a trailer and pitch deck which is currently being used to market the project to television networks and streaming services. Peterson is slated as Executive Producer under Mactavish.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles-based Urban Legends Film Company purchased an option for the non-fiction film rights to Chasing The Squirrel (Click here for Press Release). The film adaptation will tell the book's story of notorious Virginia drug smuggler Wally Thrasher, who made millions in the 70s and 80s and is believed to have faked his own death in 1984.
Urban Legends CEO Doug Tower is pursuing the project as a multi-episode television series for a streaming service (i.e. Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Hulu, etc.),
Tower is a three-decade entertainment industry veteran whose background includes coordinating scenes on blockbuster films like Waterworld, The Rock, Jumanji and Air Force One, and TV production work on the MLB World Series, Daytona 500, NBA Finals; and American Idol. He has directed A-list talent including Charleze Theron, Dwayne Johnson, Renee Zellweger, Issa Rae, Mike Trout and Kobe Bryant. Tower’s accolades include two local Emmys, a Clio, and 10 Broadcast and Design awards.
Also attached to the project are highly-regarded producer Meghann Coleman and Director of Photography Jeff Dolen, cinematographer for the HBO series, "McMillions," which was nominated for five Primetime Emmy awards.
Peterson is serving as Executive Producer on the project, which will feature interviews with many of his sources for the book. Advance film work has been completed in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Extensive on-camera interviews are in the can with retired DEA agent Don Lincoln, Virginia State Police special agent David Dean and former US Marshal Wayne Pike, all of whom have shared new information on their hunt for "The Squirrel." In addition, preliminary filming has included interviews with Olga Thrasher (Wally's wife) and Montana Thrasher (Olga & Wally's son), along with Wally's former smuggling associate Dickie Sinnott and Thrasher attorney Keith Neely.
Working title for the project is Where's Wally?