The name Debora Cahn is not one that enjoys instant recognition among audiences, but she has been working steadily and with impressive results since her days as an award-winning writer on The West Wing. Eventually rising to the ranks of producer on that show, she went on to replicate the same success on Grey’s Anatomy. With a feature script having ranked highly on the 2013 Black List (The Special Program), her work has drawn attention from notable places – including Smokehouse Productions and Columbia Pictures, who have recruited her to write Coronado High.
Based on an article by Joshua Bearman, the story will focus on a laid-back teacher in Coronado, California in 1969, who collaborated with some local high school students to smuggle pot from Mexico, using swimming and paddle surfboards. From this supposedly simple idea rose a sizable 1970s criminal empire, which was ultimately taken down by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Through Smokehouse, George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing, along with David Klawans. The reason for excitement is clear – this is the team with the golden touch. While The Monuments Men may have fallen slightly flat, this production partnership is responsible for awards-bothering titles such as Good Night, And Good Luck, The Ides Of March and August: Osage County. Perhaps their greatest success to date has been the backing of 2012’s Argo – winner of the Best Picture Academy Award – which was based upon both ‘The Master Of Disguise’ by Tony Mendez, and an article titled ‘The Great Escape’ by Joshua Bearman – who wrote the source material for Coronado High.
There is no indication yet as to who may be in the frame to direct the project. Clooney’s involvement as producer doesn’t guarantee him taking the reins. However, with Academy Award winning producers on board, and a WGA Award winning writer wielding the pen, hopes are certainly elevated for Coronado High.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter