Lifetime Developing Robert Durst TV Movie

The cable channel has optioned the book 'A Deadly Secret: The Bizarre and Chilling Story of Robert Durst.'
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Robert Durst

Lifetime is getting into the Robert Durst business.

A TV movie about the alleged murderer is in the works at the cable channel, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

In the early stages of development, the untitled project tells the story of Durst through the eyes and relationship of his wife, Kathie Durst, who was allegedly one of his murder victims. Lifetime has optioned Matt Birkbeck's A Deadly Secret: The Bizarre and Chilling Story of Robert Durst as source material for the script, which will be penned by Bettina Gilois (Bessie).

Linda Berman and Rudy Bednar are producing the film with Lincoln Square, A+E Studios and Lifetime.

A New York real estate heir, Durst was famously the subject of the 2015 HBO docuseries The Jinx. The six-part true-crime series examined his alleged involvement in three different disappearances and/or murders, including his first wife, Kathie, who went missing in 1982; the 2000 murder of his friend Susan Berman; and his neighbor Morris Black, who was murdered in 2001. 

Days after the finale of The Jinx aired in March 2015, Durst was arrested in New Orleans. He pled guilty to a federal weapons charge and was set to be transferred to a California prison this month as he awaits trial for the Berman murder charge. 

Durst has been the subject of films and TV shows before. Fred Armisen played a fictionalized version of Durst on season two of Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Ryan Gosling portrayed a character inspired by Durst in the 2010 film All Good Things, in which Kirsten Dunst starred as the wife of Gosling's character, who was inspired by Kathie Durst.

In addition to the Durst project, Lifetime also has a TV movie about the murder of JonBenet Ramsey in the works. The film is one of three projects about the murdered beauty queen set to bow ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death in December.

Thanks to docuseries like The Jinx and Making a Murderer, as well as scripted entries like The People v. O.J. Simpson, true crime has become a hot trend on the small screen. CBS has its own JonBenet docuseries premiering Sept. 18, and NBC has ordered a Law & Order: True Crime series that will examine the notorious Menendez murders.

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