EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, UCP has optioned the rights to Jesse Barron’s 2017 Esquire true crime article The Girl From Plainville for TV series development.
The Girl From Plainville is considered the definitive account of the events that led Michelle Carter, a young woman from a small town in Massachusetts, to stand trial for her boyfriend Conrad Roy’s homicide, as prosecutors argued that her calls and texts fueled his suicide when they were both teens.
In a highly publicized case, which raised the question, Can words kill?, Carter was convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging Roy, over the text messages and phone calls to kill himself. Roy had seen numerous mental health professionals and insisted he wanted to die. Carter was convicted mainly on the basis of her final phone call in which she told Roy to get back in his truck, which was filling with carbon monoxide, when he became scared.
Carter recently petitioned the Supreme Court to take the case, which was the subject of HBO’s 2019 documentary I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth V. Michelle Carter, directed by Erin Lee Carr and featuring Barron.
Carr and Barron will serve as consulting producers on the UCP series.
“Partnering with Jesse and Erin on adapting this true crime into a drama series allows us to dive deeper into the events surrounding one of the most controversial trials in recent history,” said Dawn Olmstead, President, UCP. “They have already done an incredible job in illuminating this compelling and complicated story.”
The Girl From Plainville is latest true crime series from UCP who also produces Dirty John, whose first season starred Connie Britton and Eric Bana, The Act from Nick Antosca and Michelle Dean, starring Joey King and Patricia Arquette, and the recently announced Dr. Death, an adaptation of Wondery’s hit podcast, starring Jamie Dornan.
Barron is a Los Angeles-based journalist who writes frequently for the New York Times Magazine. His work has also appeared in Esquire and GQ. ICM Partners repped Barron on the deal on behalf of Adam Eaglin at The Cheney Agency.
Carr is a New York-based director, producer and writer. Her two-part documentary, I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth V. Michelle Carter, premiered at the 2019 SXSW film festival and aired on HBO. She previously directed the film Mommy Dead and Dearest, which had its world premiere at SXSW and Hot Docs Film Festival in 2017. Her latest feature film, At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Carr is repped by UTA.