Lifetime Networks confirms the project is in development but says no decision has been made to proceed with a mini-series.
"Lifetime has not officially announced anything. We have not green-lit it yet. We don't really comment on things that are in development," network spokesman and Vice President of Corporate Communications Les Eisner said.
Although Eisner said it was too early to comment on the details surrounding the project or how the network would go about producing a mini-series on the topic, he did respond to concerns about the project.
"We are always sensitive to our subject matter, especially when it is based on true stories," he said.
If the movie gets the go ahead, it would be based on the book by Dave Cullen titled, "Columbine." Cullen is an award-wining non-fiction writer and freelance reporter who spent ten years researching and writing the book. It includes interviews with victims and other community remembers about the incident and focuses on what happened to the killers leading up to the attack and the survivors' struggles with the aftermath.
On his website, Cullen says he is in talks with "An American Crime" writer Tommy O'Haver, "Moneyball" and "Social Network" producer Michael DeLuca and "Mildred Pierce" producers Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler. A dramatic stage play is also in development according to the site.
Although Cullen only recently revealed plans for the mini-series, a petition is already circulating amongst Columbine alumni and others online.
The, "Say 'No' to Columbine Movie" petition had 1,575 signatures as of Friday morning. It is posted on the web site SignOn.org, a service run by MoveOn.org where any citizen or group can create an online petition.
The petition's creator and people who have signed the petition have voiced concerns about where proceeds will go from the mini-series, whether or not the producers will get feedback from the community and how the events of the incident will be portrayed - they are particularly worried about what they call any sensationalizing of the event.
Since publishing the book three years ago, Cullen has moved to New York City. He spoke to 9News on the phone and responded to concerns from people in and close to the Columbine community.
"I have been involved with Columbine and I understand what a painful experience it was and I understand why it matters so much," Cullen said.
The author says he experienced two bouts of diagnosed post traumatic stress disorder from his coverage and involvement with the massacre. He was shocked to hear a petition was already speaking out against his plans.
"To some degree I was by surprise because things happened very differently with the book. With the book people could see it and pick up the book and see what they liked and hated. They didn't have to try to evaluate it in a vacuum," Cullen said.
He said he covered the story from the first day and remembers seeing how the community was treated by the media and in his view he was frustrated and at some points embarrassed by his peers.
"I understand they've been burned before and they are weary.. and I think there were a lot of negative feelings about the media and TV [during the coverage of the event]," he said.
As far as proceeds from a mini-series, if it is developed, Cullen openly said he does not have any plans to donate any of the money to any organizations. He did say he has volunteered thousands of hours speaking to schools and community groups about his book and the events surrounding the killings.
"I am a struggling writer. I definitely did not get into this to make money. When the book came out, we began hearing interest from acclaimed filmmakers and I felt relieved that I would have a chance to be involved in that process, to do everything I could to insure they get it right," Cullen said. "I'm not going to make the film--that's not what I do. But I could ensure that at least this version of the story was entrusted to talented, caring people with the best intentions."
Cullen says he is open to meeting with the group behind the petition before the mini-series comes out.
" I realize that most of the survivors don't know me. For now, they can judge me based on my book, and the interviews I've done. I hope they will judge the film project by what they think of it when it comes out. I understand the apprehension until then," he said.
Lifetime Networks says there is no estimate on when they make a decision about going ahead with the series.
It has been 13 years since Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher and injured 21 other students directly. Three people were injured trying to escape. The pair then committed suicide. It is the fourth-deadliest school massacre in U.S. history and the deadliest for an American high school.
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