NBCUniversal-owned prodco Universal Cable Productions (UCP) has picked up the rights to Kurt Kuenne’s crime documentary Dear Zachary, with the intention of developing it into a dramatized miniseries.
The 2008 film is a tribute to Kuenne’s friend Andrew Bagby, whose ex-girlfriend Shirley Jane Turner was charged with his murder. While she was facing extradition to the U.S. where she would stand trial, Turner gave birth to the couple’s son Zachary, whom she later killed along with herself, after she was released during the extradition process.
Ultimately, the events that led to the murder-suicide resulted in Zachary’s Bill: an amendment to Canada’s criminal code made in December 2010, which now gives courts the right to refuse bail to someone charged with a serious crime who is deemed a potential danger to children under 18.
“For six years, I’ve turned down overtures to dramatize this story because I didn’t think such a production needed to exist, but the number of people who’ve written me to say this story changed their life made me realize that bringing it to a wider audience might do a lot of good, as long as the story was told with humanity, dignity and honesty,” said Kuenne in a statement.
Sean Perrone and Aaron Kaplan will exec produce the series, with Kuenne serving as a consultant and co-executive producer along with Submarine’s Josh Braun.
UCP – known for scripted series such as Monk and Battlestar Galactica - is still looking for a writer to adapt the doc.
The trailer for the documentary follows below: