Emilio Estevez is preparing The Public, a social drama set in a public library that he wrote and will direct as his follow-up to Bobby.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story is loosely based on a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece written by Chip Ward, a retiring librarian in Salt Lake City, which discussed the epidemic issue of libraries becoming de facto shelters for the homeless and the mentally ill in light of many social program cuts.
The story, set in Los Angeles, takes place during a 48-hour period on the two coldest days in the city, with the library overwhelmed by people seeking shelter. After getting rebuffed by the administration to keep the doors open, one librarian stages an act of civil disobedience. He ends up dealing with the library's new inhabitants, many of them mentally ill.
Estevez wrote through the summer and fall. He is meeting with actors for the 16-character ensemble and eyeing a March 26 start date in Los Angeles.