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Movies & TV

11th Mar 2019

New TV show to document one of the most infamous murders during The Troubles

Paul Moore

Jean McConville

From the award-winning team behind The People vs OJ Simpson.

The production company behind American Crime Story (The People vs OJ Simpson, The Assassination Of Gianni Versace) look set to turn their focus towards Northern Ireland as they have optioned Patrick Radden Keefe’s book Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland to develop as a limited series.

The book tells the story of the 1972 abduction of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old widow with 10 children, who was taken from her home in Belfast by suspected members of the Irish Republican Army after she was wrongly accused of being an informer.

In 2003, McConville’s remains were discovered on a beach in Louth.

Color Force’s Brad Simpson and Nina Jacobson will serve as executive producers on the show along with Keefe, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“We’re always on the lookout for a literary page-turner, and when we started Patrick’s book we couldn’t put it down. We’re very excited he’s partnering with us to tell this story on FX,” said the show’s producers.

Simpson added: “It’s in the sweet spot for us and FX — on some level it’s a crime thriller, an espionage thriller, but it’s also about something more deep and resonant.”

Since the news was announced, Jean McConville’s son has called plans to make a TV series based on his mother’s murder as “sickening”.

In a statement released via the Wave Trauma Centre, he said: “They call it drama, but for us it’s trauma. They will have someone pretending to be the mother we loved. I just can’t bear the thought of it. Using what happened to our mother for entertainment is sickening. To make money out of her murder and the pain that has been in our lives ever since is cruel and obscene. I doubt they even think of us as real people.

He added: “We’re just characters in a story to be played with and forgotten about when they move onto the next money-maker.”

At the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story received the most nominations with nine. Ultimately, it won three awards, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story also received critical acclaim and at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, the show was nominated for 22 Primetime Emmy Awards.

It won nine accolades, more than any other show, including Outstanding Limited Series. It also won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Miniseries or Television Film.