Randy & Steven Toll Acquire True Crime Chronicle ‘Judgment Ridge,’ Tap Matthew Gentile To Adapt For Film

EXCLUSIVE: On April 18th of this year, at a parole board hearing in New Hampshire, convicted murderer James Parker was granted parole for his role in the brutal 2001 stabbing murders of Half and Suzanne Zantop, a pair of married Dartmouth professors. After acquiring rights to Judgment Ridge, a work of nonfiction detailing the chilly story of those murders, producers Randy and Steven Toll have enlisted Matthew Gentile (American Murderer) to direct a feature adaptation from his own script.

Written by Dick Lehr and Mitchell Zuckoff, Judgment Ridge evokes clear memories of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, as it delves deeply into the inexplicable behavior that led to these ruthless murders. It was at age 16 that Parker conspired with his best friend to commit the murders of the Zantrops. He and co-conspirator Robert Tulloch came to commit the crime after plotting to put together the $10,000 they needed to move to Australia and leave their mundane lives in Chelsea, Vermont behind. Their scheme involved posing as surveyors on environmental issues, then robbing homeowners by tying them up, stealing their credit cards and ATM information, and ultimately planning to kill them after obtaining their pin numbers.

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While Tulloch received the mandatory sentence of life without parole, he, too, could be back on the streets at some point, having been granted a resentencing hearing that’s coming up in June.

Gentile made his feature directorial debut with the 2022 true crime drama American Murderer, starring Tom Pelphrey, Ryan Phillippe, Idina Menzel and Jackie Weaver, which won a number of awards on the festival after premiering at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. Subsequently, the film was acquired by Lionsgate/Saban Films and Universal Pictures for worldwide distribution and after its limited theatrical release, it topped streaming charts in over 45 countries worldwide.

A graduate of the prestigious directing program at the AFI Conservatory, Gentile’s thesis film Frontman won the Student Emmy for Best Directing. His second thesis, Lawman, played over 100 festivals worldwide and won the Dolby + Vizio vision award at the AFI Festival.

Previously exec producing titles like Rumble Through the Dark, Jamojaya and The Novice, Randy and Steven Toll’s upcoming slate also includes The Fabulous Four, a comedy starring Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Megan Mullaly and Sheryl Lee Ralph that’s coming up for release via Bleecker Street on July 26.

Gentile is repped by Zero Gravity Management and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.

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