True crime stories are always ripe for multiple adaptations, because there are always at least two sides to any case of legal and/or moral conflict. The latest real-life incident to garner a second telling is the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher and subsequent conviction of flatmate Amanda Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, for the horrible act. According to the Guardian, prolific and versatile filmmaker Michael Winterbottom, who debuted three separate and very different films this year alone, is interested in depicting the tragedy from an investigatory perspective. For this "fictional drama," Winterbottom has talked to his 'Summer in Genoa' star, Colin Firth, about portraying the lead, a journalist character covering the news story.
The first movie announced related to the murder will be made for cable TV, specifically for Lifetime (unless Sollecito's lawyers squash it with legal action). It will also focus on Knox, who will be played on screen by Hayden Panetierre. A few weeks ago we wondered how that project would be different if it were produced for theatrical release. Our guess was Amanda Seyfried would have been cast instead. But Winterbottom won't be taking this suggestion, nor will he be tapping any major actress for the role of Knox. He says it's unlikely if she'll even figure into his version, stating that it's not going to concern who did or didn't do it. Instead, consider this just another of his films about reporters, like 'Welcome to Sarajevo' and 'A Mighty Heart.'
Another thing we won't see in this second take is a depiction of the murder. Perhaps Winterbottom feels he gave the world enough violent imagery in his controversial recent adaptation of 'The Killer Inside Me.' Anyway he claims to be more interested in addressing the tragedy of a young life cut short and hopes this sort of narrative can communicate that angle. The filmmaker, whose most recent work, 'The Trip' (which we reviewed from the Toronto Film Festival), was just picked up by IFC Films, has already been scouting locations with Firth, who has a home in Italy, and attended Knox's appeal hearing last week.
It's unknown if this new project will have any precedence over 'The Promise Land,' a film about Israel and Palestine, which Winterbottom and Firth were set to shoot in the Middle East this fall.