If there’s been a quote in a story in the past few months so evocative that it practically begs to be dramatized, it’s this quote from Daniel, one of the “Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence,” from New York Magazine’s April 2019 story written by Ezra Marcus and James D. Walsh: “Part of why I got in a cult at all was because I had no idea how one finds a place to live in New York.”
If that doesn’t have “limited series” written all over it in your mind, it’s about to. Mainly because Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Television acquired the rights to it last year, and now Amazon is joining them in developing the story of Brooklyn-born cult leader Larry Ray and the students who fell under his sway into a scripted limited series. This story has it all: true crime, a charismatic villain, the Marines, the Upper East Side, limousines, a mobster named “Sally Dogs,” the Bush administration, the FBI, a trip to Europe, and copious psychological fuckery. In February 2020, nearly a year after the story was published, Ray was arrested and charged with sex trafficking, extortion, and forced labor. Scoop Wasserstein will executive produce for New York Magazine and Vox Media Studios. The Rhythm Section director Reed Morano will direct the limited series, so there’s a smaller than one percent but greater than zero percent chance that Larry Ray will be played by Blake Lively in a bald cap. Okay, it’s probably zero percent. A blogger can dream.