EXCLUSIVE: Wayfare Entertainment has pre-emptively purchased Inquest, a spec by Sam Cohen. It’s sure to raise a ruckus over its premise, that the death of Princess Diana might have been premeditated. Based on true events, the political thriller is about a London investigator who’s hired to discover whether her death was a tragic accident or something more. When he begins to uncover a conspiracy, the gumshoe’s own safety is compromised. This possible version of events feeds into a theory that Princess Diana’s death was similar to whether Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone or was part of a larger conspiracy in the murder of President John F. Kennedy, which was covered in film with Oliver Stone’s JFK.
This whole sale was a bit shrouded in intrigue. Sam Cohen isn’t the writer’s name. I’m told it’s Josh Simon, a former studio exec who worked in the strategic planning group and as a development exec at Disney and later the DreamWorks-based Color Force, run by former Disney topper Nina Jacobson. This is his first feature sale, though he previously sold a scripted TV project to FX along with Noah Oppenheim. When WME and Apostle’s George Heller shopped the script selectively, they included copies of confession letters culled from Princess Diana’s private diary that she was in fear of her life. Wayfare executive Sarah Shepard brought the project into the company and will produce with principal Ben Browning. Simon will also serve an executive producer.