ATLANTA – Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks (search) has made a deal with a media company that is now pitching a movie to networks.
ReganMedia, a New York multimedia company, has "acquired all media rights to the life stories" of Wilbanks and her fiancé, John Mason (search).
The company did not say whether any money had changed hands.
"I am looking forward to developing the scripted project with Wilbanks and Mason," President Judith Regan (search) said in a statement. "Theirs is an unexpected and compelling story of love and forgiveness that has certainly taught me a thing or two."
But news of the deal annoyed officials who spent thousands of dollars searching for her.
"It's disturbing to me on a personal basis that she's willing to profit from this, but there's nothing I can do about it legally," Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter (search) told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "There was no condition of probation that could have prevented it."
Duluth Mayor Shirley Fanning Lasseter (search), whose city spent nearly $43,000 to search for her, also expressed disapproval.
"You want something printable?" she asked a reporter. "I think it's a shame that anybody could profit from this."
Also, Wilbanks, who had been avoiding reporters, spoke Sunday with Katie Couric, host of NBC's "Today" show.
Asked about the NBC interview, Wilbanks' attorney, Lydia Sartain, said Wilbanks should do "whatever she needs to do" to profit from her notoriety.
"She lost her job. She's got bills to pay," Sartain told The Times of Gainesville. "I think she has been so tortured by the media and some of the other wackos in the public."
Wilbanks repaid Duluth $13,249 of what it cost to search for her. And she has pledged to pay the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department $2,550 for overtime.
Wilbanks, a nurse, disappeared from her Duluth home on April 26, four days before she was to have been married at a high-profile ceremony with 600 guests and 28 bridesmaids and groomsmen.
She took a bus to Las Vegas and then Albuquerque, N.M. She initially claimed she was abducted and sexually assaulted, but later recanted and said she fled because of unspecified personal issues days before the wedding.
Earlier this month, Wilbanks pleaded no contest to a felony count of making a false statement to police and received probation and community service.
Family members say she has been receiving psychiatric treatment at an unspecified facility.
ReganMedia is a unit of HarperCollins Publishers, which is owned by News Corporation, which also owns FOX News Channel, which operates FOXNews.com.