After over 65M downloads, Woodstock, Alabama’s S-Town podcast headed to the big screen


Bham Now S-Town
THE STATION AGENT, Director Tom McCarthy on the set, 2003, (c) Miramax
Whoah, over 65 M downloads

After over 65 M downloads, it looks like Woodstock, Alabama’s popular S-Town podcast is coming to a big screen near you according to the Hollywood Reporter (HR).

HR announced today that director Tom McCarthy has acquired the rights and is in talks to direct a movie based on the popular podcast.

Bham Now S-Town
Photo courtesy of Film Ireland (c)

McCarthy is well-known for directing his Academy award-winning movie Spotlight, which was about the oldest continuously operating newspaper, The Boston Globe’s investigative journalist team and their investigation into the Catholic Church’s sex scandals in the Boston area. The team that worked with McCarthy on Spotlight will more than likely come together to work on the production of S-Town.

What is S-Town?
Bham Now STown
Photo courtesy of S-Town

As reported by Bham Now last Nov., S-Town, the podcast from the Serial and This American Life, and hosted by Brian Reed became a reality after John McLemore, a clock repairman, of Woodstock, Alabama contacted Reed to investigate a murder allegedly committed in the town by the son of a wealthy Alabama family.  

John B. McLemore
Photo courtesy of The Daily Mail (c)

The podcast takes you behind the scenes of McLemore’s life and examines the small, rural town that he “openly despises.”  

The podcast tells the story of a supposed small-town murder, its cover-up and how  McLemore’s life is intertwined with it all.  It also exposes McLemore’s idiosyncrasies, such as tales of buried treasure and a family hedge maze, to a worldwide audience.  Sadly, and in the second episode, Reed reveals that McLemore commits suicide. After McLemore’s death, Reed shifts gears with the story and focuses on the people of Woodstock  that knew McLemore well.  

Bham Now S-Town
Photo courtesy of S-Town

The popularity of the podcast has put Woodstock, Alabama on the map.

Jeff Dodson, one of McLemore’s friends and mayor of Woodstock,  says that Woodstock has received many inquiries wanting to know the rest of the story that the podcast does not cover.  And according to some reports, visitors have visited the Green Pond Presbyterian Cemetery leaving candles, dimes and small bottles of Wild Turkey on McLemore’s grave.  

Bham Now S-Town
Photo Courtesy of S-Town
Movie Opportunity

With such popularity of the podcast and McLemore’s story, our opinion that the natural next step would be the filming of a movie, and apparently, Hollywood agrees.

Bham Now S-Town
Photo courtesy of The Observer

The Hollywood Reporter article also mentions that playwright Samuel Hunt will adapt the story for the movie and This American Life, repped by UTA (United Talent Agency) will produce it. This is only the latest in a series of projects for the program’s popular host, Ira Glass

We want to know, do you think S-Town will be a popular movie?


Kara Kennedy
Kara Kennedy
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