Filmed over a 10-year period, the series focuses on the story of Steven Avery, who was imprisoned and later exonerated of a brutal assault when DNA evidence linked the crime to another man. His release spawned criminal justice reform legislation, but when Avery and his legal team set in motion a lawsuit that threatened to expose corruption in local law enforcement and potentially award him millions of dollars, Avery found himself embroiled in the center of a murder investigation.
Through archival footage and exclusive interviews with those closest to the case, the 10-part docuseries shadows the second investigation and Avery’s ensuing trial while examining allegations of police and prosecutorial misconduct, evidence tampering and witness coercion, according to a release from Netflix.
The filmmakers will also explore the inconsistencies of the Avery assault case and “question whether scientific advances and legislative reforms over the past three decades have gotten us any closer to delivering truth and justice in the system.”
The first two episodes of the series will receive their world premiere at the Doc NYC festival and conference on Friday, November 13.
The project, the latest in the streaming service’s documentary roster following such successes as Virunga and the series The Chef’s Table, comes as the true crime genre enjoys an explosion of popularity across mediums, including cable through such networks as Investigation Discovery and projects such as HBO’s series The Jinx, and NPR’s podcast Serial, which is prepping its second season.
“There are an unbelievable number of twists and turns in the story arc of Making a Murderer, it feels like it has to be fictional,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix VP of original documentary programming, in a statement. “Ricciardi and Demos have navigated very complex terrain and skillfully woven together an incredible series that leaves you feeling like you’re right in the middle of the action.”
“If we had not been there to witness these events we would have trouble believing they actually occurred,” added the directors in a joint statement. “Our goal has always been to share that experience with viewers. Our partnership with Netflix has allowed us to tell this story in a way that wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else.”
(With files from Barry Walsh)