The 1996 murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier is the subject of two new docuseries headed to Netflix and Sky Crime next year.
As the 25th anniversary of the crime nears in 2021, London- and Los Angeles-based Lightbox will produce a three-part series on the controversial case for Netflix, while Hell’s Kitchen and Sky Studios will produce the five-part series Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie for Sky Crime.
Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In The Name of the Father) is on board to direct Murder at the Cottage, Sky Studios’ first in-house docuseries.
In 1996, two days before Christmas, Toscan du Plantier (pictured) was found dead at her holiday cottage in Schull, West Cork.
The murder rocked the Irish town and 24 years later, the case remains unsolved. The key suspect, English journalist Ian Bailey – the first reporter on the scene – was quickly arrested by local police following eye-witness reports, yet was never found guilty in Ireland, owing to a lack of reliable evidence. Despite this, Bailey was found guilty in absentia by the French courts in 2019 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Having successfully fought repeated extradition requests from the French authorities, Bailey still resides in West Cork and maintains his innocence.
The untitled Netflix series, slated for 2021, will bring together the testimony of Toscan du Plantier’s family and that of Bailey.
It is directed by John Dower who previously collaborated with Lightbox co-founder and Academy Award-winner Simon Chinn (Man on Wire , Searching For Sugar Man, Whitney) on the documentary My Scientology Movie, and whose documentary Thriller in Manila won both a Grierson and a Peabody.
Sky Crime’s Murder at the Cottage: The search for justice for Sophie, meanwhile, will also feature access to Toscan du Plantier’s family and Bailey.
Sheridan narrates the documentary and appears on-screen. The series will piece together original evidence, “never-before-seen” footage and interviews with those closest to the case.
It is executive produced by Catherine O’Flaherty for Hell’s Kitchen, with Gary Davey as executive producer for Sky Studios. The series is produced by Sheridan and Donal MacIntyre of Dare Films.
NBCUniversal Global Distribution handles international sales on behalf of Sky Studios.
Photo courtesy Lightbox/Netflix