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Elizabeth Smart Movie to Air in November

Elizabeth Smart Movie to Air in November

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SALT LAKE City (AP) -- A two-hour CBS television movie about Elizabeth Smart's nine-month kidnapping is expected to be aired in November, the girl's father, Ed Smart, said Thursday.

The story will be told from the viewpoint of Smart and his wife, Lois Smart. "We're pleased. We think CBS is going to do a good job," Ed Smart told The Associated Press.

Elizabeth's parents also have signed a deal with Doubleday Books to tell their story in "Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey of Faith and Hope." That book is scheduled for release on Oct. 28, according to the trade paper Hollywood Reporter.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth's uncles Tom and Dave Smart are working on their own version of Elizabeth's ordeal, Tom Smart said Thursday. That story, which the brothers will co-write with Deseret Morning News columnist Lee Benson, will not come out until the criminal cases against Elizabeth's alleged kidnappers are resolved.

"Dave and I have a hell of a story, as does the rest of the family," Tom Smart said. "We do not plan on competing with Ed and Lois' book."

Elizabeth, now 15, was abducted from her bedroom on the night of June 5, 2002. Last March, she was found in a Salt Lake suburb with her alleged kidnappers, Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee.

In the first five days after the kidnapped teen returned home, the family's spokesman fielded nearly 100 film, book or made-for-TV-movie proposals. Early industry reports from unidentified sources said the Smarts could get $400,000 to $500,000 for the story.

Prosecutors say Mitchell, 49, a drifter and self-styled prophet, and Barzee, 57, held Elizabeth against her will at a crude campsite in the dry foothills above the Smart home until Oct. 8. They then took her to California, where they stayed until March 5, according to court documents.

Mitchell and Barzee have been charged with burglary, kidnapping and sexual assault. They are both being held on $10 million bond pending psychological examinations to determine whether they are competent to stand trial.

Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom said Thursday the competency evaluations could be completed by early October. At that time, a court hearing would be scheduled, he said.

Hollywood Reporter said the movie's working title is "The Elizabeth Smart Story." The movie will depict Elizabeth's travels with her alleged kidnappers and her parents' efforts to bring her home. Filming was scheduled to begin in two weeks in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dylan Baker and Lindsay Frost would play Elizabeth's parents, and Canadian actress Amber Marshall will play Elizabeth.

Elizabeth on Monday will start her freshman year at East High School in Salt Lake City. "She's very excited," her father said.

Tom Smart said he and his brother Dave met with the CBS writer to "show support" for Ed and Lois' movie. "But we did not tell CBS our story," he said. "We didn't give them anything that wasn't public record."

Family members are acting separately because "Ed and Lois wanted it that way," Tom Smart said. "We do have very different stories to tell, though there is obvious overlap."

Smart said that he and his brother didn't want to shop their book around until Ed and Lois Smart had signed their deals. "We did not want to interfere," he said. "I've waited over a year to tell my story, and I will."

Smart said the co-authored book would include information from police investigations, extensive interviews with members of his family and the alleged kidnappers' families. It also will look at media ethics and how the story was reported in Salt Lake City and around the world.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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