The success of the podcast Serial and the HBO documentary series The Jinx have made true crime something of a sexy subgenre again, despite the awfulness behind the subject matter. And instead of going with one of the many thousands of intriguing murder cases that haven’t gotten widespread coverage over the years, The Weinstein Company has acquired the TV rights to Truman Capote’s formative classic In Cold Blood, and they plan on turning it into an event series. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t know this story by heart at this point?
Though it has been adapted into three feature films, an acclaimed miniseries, and a 2005 graphic novel called Capote in Kansas, In Cold Blood has somehow never been turned into a full-length series yet. It’s not at all clear what network this might end up at, but I’d sincerely hope for the cable side of the TV spectrum to get involved. This could easily be a future season of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story on FX, or the beginning of another crime-based anthology series for whatever channels don’t have one lined up yet.
The second highest selling true crime book ever published, In Cold Blood was the product of six years’ work on behalf of author Truman Capote. The story takes place in Kansas, where former (and future) convicts Dick Hickock and Perry Smith erroneously attempted to rob a farmer named Herbert Clutter, eventually murdering him and the rest of his family. They were later arrested, and Capote took it upon himself to travel to the town and interview everyone involved with the case. (To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee, a childhood friend of Capote’s, went with him.) One of the book’s major draws was the friendship that formed between the author and the killers, whom he interviewed after they were convicted.
TWC’s TV division, which will eventually get sold to the U.K.’s ITV for a giant sum, is working with Gary Oldman and Douglas Urbanski’s Flying Studios for this project, and the latter company will be producing. According to Deadline, currently attached to write the script is playwright Kevin Hood, probably best known for penning Julian Jarrold’s Jane Austen biopic Becoming Jane, with Anne Hathaway in the title role. Hood also wrote for such U.K. series as The Echo and Grange Hill.
The first film adaptation of In Cold Blood was Richard Brooks’ Oscar-nominated 1967 version, with Robert Blake and Scott Wilson as the killers. Next up came Anthony Edwards and Eric Roberts as Hickock and Smith, respectively, for the 1996 TV miniseries. Then we had Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Oscar-winning performance as Capote for Bennett Miller’s 2005 drama Capote, which was followed up a year later by Douglas McGrath’s Infamous, with Toby Jones in the role of Capote, and Daniel Craig and Lee Pace as Smith and Hickock, respectively.
Are you guys excited or dismayed to see this tale being retold?