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But he told The Hollywood Reporter that the film will be about much more than just the high-profile murder case.
The Face of an Angel, based on the book, Angel Face: Sex, Murder and the Inside Story of Amanda Knox, by Rome-based American journalist Barbie Latza Nadeau, with a script by Paul Viragh, uses the tragic story of the 2009 murder in Umbria, Italy, of British student Meredith Kercher and Knox’s initial conviction as a springboard for a wider investigation of society’s fascination with violence, rather than love, Winterbottom said.
The trial and controversy surrounding Kercher’s murder topped international headlines for months.
Knox’s sentence was quashed on appeal in 2011 and she was subsequently released. But in March of this year the Italian Supreme Court overturned that ruling and sent the case back to a lower court for reconsideration.
Winterbottom, who was at the Odessa Film Festival for a gala screening of his latest film The Look of Love — starring Steve Coogan as British soft-porn impresario and publisher Paul Raymond — said he was wary of mentioning the murder case because the film is about more than that.
“We bought the rights to the book that tells the story of the trial, but our film is not really about that, so we are always a bit wary of even saying that,” Winterbottom told THR.
“Our film is actually about losing a daughter, losing someone close to you; why are we so interested in violence and why are we not more interested in love.”
The film, being produced by BBC Films and Italian production company Cattleya, will also examine how the press covers murder, loss and violence, Winterbottom said.
No cast has yet been announced for the film, which Winterbottom will start work on soon, having just finished shooting what he describes as his “first sequel” — The Trip to Italy, starring Coogan, Rob Brydon and Rosie Fellner — which is a follow-up to his 2010 comedy film The Trip.
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