Podcast ‘Hunting Ghislaine’ Scores Scripted Adaptation by Sony-Backed Eleventh Hour Films
Ghislaine Maxwell (Courtesy of Sony)
A chart-topping true crime podcast about Ghislaine Maxwell from U.K. radio station LBC is being adapted for television.
Sony Pictures Television-backed Eleventh Hour Films has nabbed screen rights to “Hunting Ghislaine” from LBC (Leading Britain’s Conversation) and outdoor media powerhouse Global. Plans are underway to make a limited drama series based on the IP.
Launched in November 2020, and written and presented by award-winning investigative journalist and author John Sweeney (BBC “Panorama,” The Observer), the six-part podcast was co-commissioned by Global and Dentsu-backed The Story Lab.
The podcast details the story of Maxwell, daughter of disgraced billionaire media tycoon Robert Maxwell and former partner of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested by the FBI last year. Maxwell denies six charges of enticing girls for sex with Epstein and perjury.
The podcast features testimonies from those who knew Maxwell as well as her father Robert, alongside a number of experts and fellow journalists covering the case. Sweeney delves into Ghislaine’s past and her role in the Epstein scandal in a bid to understand the real figure behind the headlines.
Paula Cuddy, creative director and executive producer for Eleventh Hour Films, said: “John’s compelling podcast ‘Hunting Ghislaine’ puts Ghislaine Maxwell centre stage, unravels her story and asks what went wrong for the girl who seemingly had it all.
“Set in a richly glittering international world, dark secrets are revealed and always in the shadows looms the formative relationship between a daughter and her father. It has all the hallmarks of a premium drama — and with John alongside our partners at Global and The Story Lab we look forward to delivering,” continued Cuddy.
Sweeney added: “The grim shadow Robert Maxwell cast over people, above all his favorite child, Ghislaine, has long fascinated me. It was a privilege to be able to tell that story to listeners for Global and The Story Lab, working with Chalk & Blade. I could not be more thrilled that a company with the profile, expertise and stellar slate of Eleventh Hour Films now want to make a TV series based on our podcast.”
Cuddy, Eve Gutierrez and Jill Green will executive produce for Eleventh Hour Films, alongside Chris Baughen for Global and Robbie Ashcroft for The Story Lab. John Sweeney will act as series consultant and executive producer.
Variety's Manori Ravindran contributed to this post.