EXCLUSIVE: Tiger Woods, Jeff Benedict’s recently published biography of the controversial golf champion, is being turned into a scripted miniseries after the author struck a deal with Brent Montgomery’s Wheelhouse Entertainment.
The book, which was published last year, became a New York Times best seller and is the first project taken to market by Wheelhouse and Benedict.
The move comes as Woods won his fifth Masters championship last month, widely considered one of the greatest career comebacks in sports history.
Tiger Woods, which was published by CBS Corp-owned Simon & Schuster, opens with the 2009 car accident on the day after Thanskgiving that precipitated Woods’ infidelity scandal. Benedict and his co-author Armen Keteyian, a former 60 Minutes correspondent, spoke to more than 250 people for the book, including other professional golfers and Woods’ longtime chiropractor Mark Lindsay.
Benedict has written a number of sports titles including The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football, co-authored with Keteyian, and QB: My Life Behind the Spiral, written with Hall of Famer Steve Young. He also wrote Little Pink House, which was turned into a feature film with Catherine Keener and Jeanne Tripplehorn; Poisoned, chronicling the infamous Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak; and longform articles for Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
Under the deal, Benedict and Wheelhouse will develop a range of scripted and unscripted film and television projects, based on Benedict’s intellectual property.
“As a rabid sports fan, I had seen Jeff’s byline and read much of his work, always impressed by his insights and access into some pretty rarefied worlds,” Montgomery said, “but when I picked up Tiger Woods, I saw what a true force Jeff really is – and a compelling way to bring the Tiger Woods story to life as one of the most moving in sports history. IP is becoming more important than ever before, and to partner with a writer of Jeff’s caliber – someone who nails perfectly the experience and emotion behind epic people and their stories – is a huge win for Wheelhouse. It’s an enormously rich pool from which to create exciting projects in and around sports, and other high-intensity environments. We are ecstatic to be in the Jeff Benedict business.”
Benedict added: “As a journalist, I let stories lead me on a journey. One of the thrills of being a writer is encountering the unexpected along the way. Even after doing this for over 20 years, I still get a charge out of meeting new people whose narratives surprise and inspire me. That’s exactly what happened when I met Brent and the Wheelhouse team. They are entrepreneurs on a mission to build audio and visual platforms for storytellers and creators. The opportunity to partner with them is a writer’s dream. I am eager to see where this new story and professional chapter takes us both.”