May 27, 2009 / 12:20 AM / 10 years ago

Suicide pact? Al Pacino eyes Kevorkian biopic

Al Pacino gestures on the red carpet as he arrives for his movie "Chinese Coffee" at Rome's Film Festival October 22, 2008. REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Al Pacino is in negotiations to star in “You Don’t Know Jack,” a movie about convicted murderer Jack Kevorkian, the infamous advocate of doctor-assisted suicide.

Kevorkian, 81, also known as Dr. Death, assisted in more than 150 cases of suicide. He beat the state court system in Michigan numerous times, but was finally convicted of second-degree murder in 1999 after he videotaped a procedure for a terminally ill man, and sent the tape to “60 Minutes.”

He was given a 10- to 25-year sentence, but was paroled last June after serving just over eight years.

The HBO Films biopic, to be directed by Barry Levinson, will follow Kevorkian as he builds his “Mercy Machine,” conducts his first assisted suicide, and starts a media frenzy with his epic legal battles defending a patient’s right to die.

Adam Mazer (“Breach”) wrote the script, which is loosely based on “Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Assisted Suicide Machine and the Battle to Legalize Euthanasia” by Neal Nicol.

The project has been in development for some time, with Ben Kingsley once attached to play Kevorkian.

Levinson last directed “What Just Happened?” while Pacino’s last outing was “Righteous Kill.”

(Editing by Dean Goodman)

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