It is the latest project between the WarnerMedia-owned network and C4 and comes ahead of the launch of controversial Michael Jackson doc Leaving Neverland. The two have previously worked on a number of films including 2012’s The Battle for Marjah, about a platoon of marines in Afghanistan, directed by Wonke.
HBO will air the film in the U.S. as Unmasking Jihadi John: Anatomy of a Terrorist, while C4 will launch the series later this year as The Hunt for Jihadi John.
Jihadi John, also known as Mohammed Emwazi, was one of the most controversial and dangerous figures to emerge out of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Born in Kuwait, but grew up in London, he was responsible for beheading a number of victims including journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid worker David Haines.
There was a massive international manhunt for the man after the beheading videos were released with the FBI, MI5 and Scotland Yard all searching for him, despite him concealing his appearance. The Washington Post identified him as Emwazi in 2015 through an investigation by Souad Mekhennet and Adam Goldman.
Emwazi, who had been nicknamed Jihadi John as a reference to former Beatle John Lennon by a group of hostages who heard his British accent, was killed in November 2015 by a drone strike featuring U.S. and UK aircraft in Raqqa.
Production company Nutopia has previously made films including C4 and PBS’ Held Hostage, about the story of Western citizens held hostage by Al Qaeda at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria, and C4 and History’s Targeting Bin Laden and it is currently making Jesus: His Life for History and the second season of One Strange Rock for Nat Geo.