Neil White’s memoir, “In the Sanctuary of Outcasts,” details White’s conviction for bank fraud and his incarceration at the Federal Medical Center in Carville, Louisiana, which also housed more than 100 men and women with leprosy.
And now, producer Stratton Leopold of Mission: Impossible III fame has hired award-winning writer-producer-director Dax Phelan to pen an adaptation of “In the Sanctuary of Outcasts.”
White is now the owner, creative director and publisher of Nautilus Publishing Co., in Oxford. He started the operation at a kitchen table in 1994, and the business grew out of desperation as his business began where “In the Sanctuary of Outcasts” ended.
“I was captivated by White’s transformation from very successful but image-driven magazine publisher to federal convict to the man he is today and, equally, by the enduring impact that the Hansen’s Disease patients have had on his life,” said Leopold. “From the beginning, I knew that adapting a non-linear memoir into a strong, crowd-pleasing narrative would be a difficult task. Phelan was able to crack the book and I’m thrilled to be working with him to bring this extraordinary true story to life on the big screen.”
“In the Sanctuary of Outcasts” is the true account of White’s experience as a federal inmate incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center in Carville, Louisiana. It was there he witnessed an unprecedented convergence of cultures – federal inmates and prison guards thrown together with leprosy patients, public health workers and an ancient order of nuns. Early in his prison sentence, White began to realize his incarceration might serve as a rare opportunity for participatory journalism. After interviewing hundreds of inmates, the residents of Carville and anyone who would speak with him, White was eventually discharged and took with him, a library of details recorded during or immediately after they occurred. The outcome is a thrilling, harrowing and deeply moving real-life account of the unmasking of one of the world’s most well kept secrets and the amazing influence the event had on White’s life.
Leopold is an international film producer and business owner who has filmed in much of the USA and the world, including England, Spain, Italy, Central America, the Philippines, Australia, Canada, and China. His lengthy resume includes a number of multiple award-winning films and he has acted as producer, executive producer, or co-producer and has overseen the production of many films, including Mission: Impossible III, Paycheck, The Wolfman, Parker, The Sum of All Fears, Bless the Child, The General’s Daughter, Born Yesterday, Bound by Honor, The Big One, The Rose and the Jackal, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
Leopold and Phelan first worked together when Leopold hired Phelan, who received his MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute and served as the former Creative Executive for Mace Neufeld at Sony Pictures, to adapt the book, “Charlie Two Shoes and the Marines of Love Company,” by David Perlmutt and Michael Peterson. Charlie Two Shoes is currently in an early funding stage with a prominent Chinese financier.
In the Sanctuary of Outcasts is expected to begin pre-production in the fall.