'S-Town' Podcast Might Be Getting A Movie From The Director Of 'Spotlight'

The popular spinoff of “This American Life” and “Serial” is part of a wave of podcasts being adapted for movies or TV.

The “S-Town”  podcast, the popular spinoff of “Serial” and “This American Life,” is heading to the big screen.

Participant Media has acquired the movie rights to the series, and Tom McCarthy, the Oscar-winning writer and director of “Spotlight,” is in negotiations to direct the film, Deadline first reported on Wednesday.

A spokesman for Participant Media confirmed the report. Representatives for “This American Life” did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The seven-part series, which premiered last year, hosted by “This American Life” senior producer Brian Reed, profiles a mercurial man named John B. McLemore, who emails Reed to investigate a murder in his small Alabama town, which he nicknames “Shittown.” What appears to be a true crime chronicle evolves into a very different story, making forays into a variety of subjects, from clockmaking to climate change to mental health.

Like its predecessor “Serial,” the story plays out over multiple episodes. But unlike “Serial,” all the episodes were released on the same day, with the show’s creators envisioning the series as a novel.

The first season of “Serial,” which launched in 2014, started a wave of narrative podcasts. Now it seems that the next frontier in podcasts, both nonfiction and fiction, is turning them into feature films and television series.

Gimlet Media’s fictional podcast “Homecoming,” which featured voice acting from a high-profile cast, including Catherine Keener and Oscar Isaac, is now being adapted into an Amazon series starring Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney.