A film about cult figure and controversial psychiatrist R.D. Laing is in the planning stages. Born in 1927, Ronald David Laing grew up to become a charismatic psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who scorned traditional therapies for mental illness for a more interpersonal approach. In 1965, Laing and his associates started a psychiatric community project at the Kingsley Hall community centre in East London where therapists and patients lived together. It was a radical experiment that remains controversial due to Laing' s experiments with LSD and allegations of sexual impropriety. He also later advocated "rebirthing workshops" which supposedly simulated the birth experience.
Though long associated with the anti-psychiatry movement, Laing rejected the label despite his criticism of the biological model of mental illness. Although his ideas were widely espoused during the 1960s and 1970s, his life and career went into decline. By the time of his death in 1987, he had lost his license to practice medicine and his theories had been largely discredited.
The planned movie is expected to focus on his early career and famous patients. Robert Carlyle ( Trainspotting, The Full Monty ) is reportedly being considered for the lead.