HBO Max has ordered a two-part docuseries about late actor Brittany Murphy from Blumhouse Television and Pyramid Productions, with Emmy-nominated Cynthia Hill (Private Violence) attached to direct. The order marks the first for Blumhouse Television with HBO Max.
The Untitled Brittany Murphy project presents an in-depth, intimate character portrait exploring the life and career and mysterious circumstances surrounding the tragic death of 90’s actress and rising star, Brittany Murphy. The series will go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines, featuring new interviews by those closest to Brittany and new archival footage.
“Our Brittany Murphy documentary cuts through the tabloid noise with an elevated, nuanced depiction of a sensational story,” said Jennifer O’Connell, EVP, Non-Fiction and Live-Action Family Programming, HBO Max. “Crafting a grounded account of Brittany Murphy’s life struggles and sudden passing comes with great responsibility and we’ve partnered with a masterful creative team to produce a thoughtful examination of a tragedy that has long been cause for speculation.”
Murphy died suddenly on December 20, 2009, after collapsing in her Hollywood Hills home. She was 32. Her death was ruled accidental and determined to have been caused by a combination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency and “multiple drug intoxication,” the Los Angeles County coroner said at the time. The death months later of her husband, Simon Monjack, which was also ruled as caused by severe anemia and acute pneumonia, heightened questions and speculation over Murphy’s death.
Jason Blum, Chris McCumber, Jeremy Gold and Mary Lisio will executive produce for Blumhouse, along with James Buddy Day (The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell). The docuseries is produced by Blumhouse Television (The Jinx, Sharp Objects) and Pyramid Productions. Blumhouse and Pyramid previously teamed to produce Epix docuseries Fall River.
“Brittany Murphy was a rising star whose filmography includes movies that defined a generation, said Mary Lisio, EVP, Alternative and Non-Scripted Programming, Blumhouse Television. “We thought her story warrants a deeper exploration, and examination into the environment that allowed her to become a victim of success. We’re thrilled to be partnering with HBO Max, and to collaborate with a director like Cynthia Hill who takes a nuanced approach to complex stories about women and contemporary issues.”
Murphy was known for her roles in features Clueless, 8 Mile and Girl, Interrupted. She also led the romantic comedies Little Black Book (2004) and Just Married (2003).
“I agreed to do this film because I think it’s a shame that Brittany’s promising life and career has been eclipsed by the circumstances of her death,” said Hill.” I think it’s important to celebrate Brittany’s talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon’s deaths.”
Murphy’s death was previously the subject of a documentary, Brittany Murphy: An ID Mystery, which aired last year on Investigation Discovery.
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