EXCLUSIVE: Peter Kosminsky will not start writing scripts for the BBC’s Grenfell drama until after the findings of the landmark inquiry into the national tragedy have been published, Deadline understands.
The BBC unveiled three-parter Grenfell earlier this week, the result of five years worth of research and interviews, which will continue now that the project is in the public domain.
Viewers are unlikely to see the factual drama on screen anytime soon, however, as we understand Wolf Hall scribe Kosminsky will wait until the huge national inquiry into the failings surrounding the tragic tower fire that killed 72 people in London in 2017 has published findings. Production will therefore not start for at least a year but interviews and research will continue in the meantime, allowing Kosminsky to build up a full picture of events, including the response to the inquiry findings from those closest to the tragedy.
The Grenfell inquiry’s phase 2 closing statements took place late last year and the report from chair Sir Martin Moore-Bick is expected later in 2023.
Around 300,000 documents and 1,500 witness statements were submitted to the four-year-long inquiry, which has already recommended a number of building safety legislation updates as part of its first phase. The second phase will decide whether to recommend criminal charges. Speaking to The Sunday Times late last month, UK Housing Secretary Michael Gove accepted that “faulty and ambiguous” government guidance was a factor in the fire, which spread due to flammable cladding on the walls of the tower. This represented a major climbdown from the UK government’s previous defense.
Kosminsky and Grenfell producer The Forge have spent years conducting research and interviews but taking on a drama of this magnitude is extremely sensitive.
Deadline understands one Grenfell campaign group’s official team was blindsided when the announcement came earlier this week and several people have been in touch with them since to say they are unhappy with it.
While they have regularly spoken with campaign groups to seek advice and assistance, The Forge and Kosminsky are understood to have approached the research stage by focusing on interviews with individuals rather than spokespeople for any particular group.
Grenfell campaign groups, which have worked tirelessly to lobby and keep the issues at the forefront of the public’s attention, include Grenfell United, Justice 4 Grenfell and the Grenfell Action Group.
A number of documentaries about the tragedy have already aired including a feature on the BBC, which was also titled Grenfell.
A BBC factual drama about disgraced former British TV personality Jimmy Savile, titled The Reckoning, was announced in 2021 but is unlikely to air until next year at the earliest.
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