Gillian Anderson, Billie Piper and Rufus Sewell will star in a Netflix film based on an inside account of Prince Andrew’s infamous 2019 Newsnight interview.
Scoop will be based on chapters from former BBC producer Sam McAlister’s memoir on how the explosive interview, in which the royal spoke about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was secured.
The X Files and Sex Education star Anderson will play journalist and presenter Emily Maitlis, while Sewell will play Andrew and Piper will portray McAlister.
Keeley Hawes also stars, playing Amanda Thirsk, the prince’s private secretary.
After the announcement from Netflix, McAlister said: “Watching Billie Piper, one of my favourite actresses, play ‘me’ will be a pinch myself moment and I’m truly thrilled to be involved in this film.”
Emmy and BAFTA-winning director Philip Martin (The Crown, Prime Suspect) said: “Up-tempo, immersive and cinematic, I want to put the audience inside the breathtaking sequence of events that led to the interview with Prince Andrew – to tell a story about a search for answers, in a world of speculation and varying recollections.
“It’s a film about power, privilege and differing perspectives and how – whether in glittering palaces or hi-tech newsrooms – we judge what’s true.”
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Scoop is billed as “the inside track of the women that broke through the Buckingham Palace establishment to secure the scoop of the decade… spotlighting the journalists whose tenacity and guts broke through the highest of ceilings”.
The film is produced by Hilary Salmon and Radford Neville (Luther, The Night Of) for The Lighthouse Film & Television, with Sanjay Singhal (Bin Laden: The Road to 9/11, Trouble at Topshop) for Voltage TV.
Prince Andrew’s appearance on the BBC programme was intended to dispel increasing scrutiny of his relationship with Epstein, who died in prison earlier that year – as well as allegations that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl.
However, the interview with Maitlis was branded “disastrous” and “excruciating” when it aired in November 2019 – making headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons.
The duke stepped away from public life after the interview.
He paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case with Virginia Giuffre, who said she was trafficked by Epstein.
He denied all her claims and said he had never met her.