Production has begun on Netflix’s Scoop, the feature project that provides an inside account of the road to BBC Newsnight’s bombshell 2019 interview with Prince Andrew about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Gillian Anderson has joined the investigative drama as Emily Maitlis, the former lead presenter of Newsnight who conducted the now infamous exchange. Rufus Sewell will play the disgraced royal.
In addition, Keeley Hawes will star as Amanda Thirsk, the former Private Secretary to Prince Andrew while Billie Piper is Sam McAlister, the Newsnight producer who negotiated and secured the booking and upon whose memoir, Scoops: Behind The Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews, the film is based.
Deadline revealed the project was in the works last summer. It will follow the inside track of the women that broke through the Buckingham Palace establishment to secure the scoop of the decade which led to the catastrophic fall from grace of The Queen’s ‘Favourite son.’ From navigating Palace vetoes, to breaking through to Prince Andrew’s inner circle, the high stakes negotiations and intensity of rehearsal, to the jaw-dropping interview itself, Scoop is billed as the insider account of the inner workings of the Palace and the BBC, twin bastions of the British Establishment, spotlighting the journalists whose tenacity and guts broke through the highest of ceilings – and into the inner sanctum and calculations of a man with everything to lose.
Philip Martin (The Crown) is directing. Scoop is produced by Hilary Salmon and Radford Neville for The Lighthouse Film & Television, with Sanjay Singhal for Voltage TV.
McAlister commented, “It is beyond my wildest dreams, especially as a first time writer, to end up working with this extraordinary cast, Netflix, and the amazing teams at The Lighthouse and Voltage. Watching Billie Piper, one of my favorite actresses, play ‘me’ will be a pinch myself moment and I’m truly thrilled to be involved in this film.”
Martin adds, “I’m thrilled to be directing this film for Netflix and – together with an extraordinary cast – to be bringing Sam McAlister’s revelatory insider’s account to the screen. Uptempo, immersive and cinematic, I want to put the audience inside the breathtaking sequence of events that led to the interview with Prince Andrew – to tell a story about a search for answers, in a world of speculation and varying recollections. It’s a film about power, privilege and differing perspectives and how – whether in glittering palaces or hi-tech newsrooms – we judge what’s true.”
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