EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime is developing an untitled movie about real estate magnate Robert Durst, subject of HBO’s The Jinx, who’s serving a seven-year prison sentence in Louisiana for weapons possession.

A deadly secret
Berkley Books

The network has optioned Matt Birkbeck’s book A Deadly Secret: The Bizarre and Chilling Story of Robert Durst, for use as source material for the script, which will be penned by Emmy-nominated Bessie scribe Bettina Gilois. Linda Berman is producing via ABC News’ Lincoln Square Productions, where she serves as head of scripted content, along with Lincoln Square’s Rudy Bednar, A+E Studios and Lifetime.

The film will tell the troubling story of Robert Durst through the eyes and relationship of his wife, Kathy Durst, who disappeared in New York in 1982. Robert Durst was a suspect in her disappearance, but was never charged. Kathy Durst has never been found. Robert Durst was expected back in Los Angeles this month to be arraigned on murder charges in a separate case — the killing of his confidante, Susan Berman.

Gilois received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing of a Television Movie for HBO’s Bessie, starring Queen Latifah. Her other writing credits include Jerry Bruckheimer’s Glory Road and McFarland USA, starring Kevin Costner. She is repped by APA and Dan Halsted at Manage-ment.