Barry Levinson to Direct Controversial Obesity Documentary

Directory Barry Levinson announced he will be tackling the nation’s obesity epidemic in a documentary currently in development. The film, however, is already raising criticism.

Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson – who tackled autism in the film Rain Man, and media spin in the comedy Wag the Dog – is now going after obesity in a new documentary.

The film, still untitled, is part of a new social awareness project funded by drug company GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of weight loss drug Alli. The film’s development was announced during the recent Sundance Film Festival. And in a statement, Levinson referred to the “evolution of the obesity crisis in America” as the “hidden enemy within our borders that no one talks about.”

There’s been criticism that the film is funded by a weight loss drug company – with speculation that it may be a commercial for the alli weight loss pill. However, Rachel Ferdinando of GlaxoSmithKline said in a recent interview that the company won’t hold creative sway over the film and that it’s being made only to shed more light on an ongoing obesity problem.  She also added that whatever revenues the drug company earns from the final film will go to charity.

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