8:00am PT by Chris Gardner
How History (and Hollywood) "Caught Up" to Toni Collette's 'Unbelievable'
When the article "An Unbelievable Story of Rape" was published in 2015, it didn't get much attention in Hollywood.
But times have changed, and the now-newsy story (by ProPublica's T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project) will soon be available on Netflix as an eight-part series. The story centers on a woman who reported being raped at knifepoint only to end up being prosecuted for lying. Two female detectives then look into the case and come to a surprising conclusion.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon and his wife, Ayelet Waldman, pursued an adaptation shortly after the article was published but had a hard time getting traction. “Nobody wanted to talk about rape,” Waldman (joined by Chabon at the Hammer Museum's Gala in the Garden earlier this fall) told THR of the piece, which won a 2016 Pulitzer Prize in the Explanatory Reporting category.
Enter Netflix, which picked it up at the start of the year, ordering it to series and gathering a team that also included Susannah Grant, Katie Couric, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly (who had also been pursuing it independently). The limited series, which recently wrapped production, stars Toni Collette, Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever.
"History caught up," adds Waldman. "It's a show about believing women, and we couldn’t have a better moment to show America what happens when you don’t believe women."
A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 28 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.