EXCLUSIVE: Acclaimed documentary producer John Battsek, whose credits include Oscar-winner One Day In September and Emmy-winner Manhunt: The Inside Story Of The Hunt for Bin Laden, is making his first foray into podcasts with Audible series Deepcut.
The investigative six part non-fiction series will see Battsek and his new production company Ventureland tackle the complex and controversial cases of four deaths at the Deepcut army barracks in the UK.
The series will examine the deaths of the four young soldiers, found shot dead at the Princes Royal Barracks (AKA Deepcut) in Surrey, England between 1995 and 2002. As their families searched for answers, allegations of bullying, sexual abuse and violence begin to surface and suspicions mounted that evidence had been withheld or destroyed. The incidents led to lengthy legal contests.
Battsek’s team for the series includes investigative journalist Jane MacSorley and former detective chief inspector Colin Sutton who join forces to examine the deaths of Privates Sean Benton, Cheryl James, Geoff Gray and James Collinson, championing their families’ campaign for the truth.
The series, which will be executive-produced by Battsek alongside Audible’s Martha Little, is due for release exclusively on Audible in 2021. It is not clear at this stage whether screen rights are being considered for the story.
Battsek said, “The devastating events at Deepcut and the shocking and dismissive treatment the respective families have received ever since requires thorough re-examination. Audible are the perfect partner for the great team assembled at Ventureland to delve into this deeply disturbing story.”
Aurelie De Troyer, Senior Vice President of International English Content at Audible UK, added: “This is a remarkable story that needs to be heard. John and his team have reported an urgent and thought-provoking investigation which unfolds with gripping tension. This Audible Original podcast will raise important questions for some of Britain’s most influential institutions. To be debuting John’s first audio project is a privilege. We can’t wait to bring this and other compelling, camera-shy stories to life on Audible.”
Battsek recently co-founded new company Ventureland following a stellar 20-year feature career at Passion Pictures. His movie credits include Searching For Sugar Man, Restrepo, Winter On Fire, Listen To Me Marlon, The Tillman Story, Hillsborough and The Imposter.
Prior to Deepcut, Little executive-produced audio documentaries for Audible including The Home Front: Life In America During World War II, hosted by Martin Sheen; What Were You Thinking?, hosted by NPR’s former counter-terrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston; and the award-winning The 3-Day Effect, hosted by science journalist Florence Williams.