BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (CBS) — You know Rob Lowe as political hopeful Sam Seaborn on “The West Wing,” or sleazy television executive Benjamin Kane in “Wayne’s World,” but can you imagine him as the infamous former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson?
As CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports, it’s going to be happening. Lowe will play Peterson in an upcoming made-for-TV movie, “The Drew Peterson Story,” and neighbors in Bolingbrook Tuesday night reacted with shock, surprise and a little curiosity.
Peterson has been a fixture in the headlines for nearly the past four years. He is now in the Will County Jail awaiting trial in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, whose death was originally ruled an accident after her body was found in a dry bathtub.
Peterson is also suspected in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.
Residents of Bolingbrook say turning that and other family tragedies into a movie is sure to stir up more controversy.
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“I think it’s a little bit crazy,” one woman said in a Bolingbrook parking lot.
“Oh my gosh,” another said.
The choice of Lowe to play Peterson drew strong reaction too.
“That’s ridiculous,” a woman said, “and why Rob Lowe?”
Peterson’s attorney, Joel Brodsky, says he told Peterson about the movie on Tuesday.
Peterson responded: “If I was ever in a movie I was hoping I would be portrayed by Denzel Washington, but I guess Rob Lowe is OK. However, only Al Lewis could portray (Will County) State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow.”
Stacy Peterson’s sister, Cassandra Cales, also released a statement: “It has been brought to my attention that there will be a movie made about Drew Peterson, based on the Book ‘Fatal Vows.’ I did not read the book, but I just wanted to let everyone know that any references made about my sister or the Cales family was not authorized by us.”
People who have watched the case unfold say it’s hard to imagine what relatives are feeling now.
“Unbelievable,” one of the women in the parking lot said. “I can’t believe all the attention that he gets.”
As for the families, another said: “That’s really hard for them to watch. I can’t even imagine, if that was my family, to first of all go through that in general and then to have to see it on TV.”
The movie will air on Lifetime. It is based on a book by Joseph Hosey, The Tragic Wives of Drew Peterson.
In other casting, Kaley Cuoco, better known as Penny from “The Big Bang Theory,” will play Stacy Peterson.