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Lifetime is looking to another famous murder case for its next TV movie.
The female-skewing cable network has tapped singer-actress Courtney Love to star in a telepic about the infamous Menendez family, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Written by Abdi Nazemian (The Quiet) and directed by reality TV producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (RuPaul’s Drag Race), the untitled project is based on a true story and explores the lives and motivations behind the murders of entertainment exec Jose Menendez and his wife, Kitty, by their sons, Lyle and Erik, in 1989. Love (The People vs. Larry Flynt) will star as Kitty Menendez.
Lifetime says the movie’s focus will reveal the “extreme abuse the brothers endured at their father’s hands, while their mother looked the other way.” Here’s the official description: In the months that followed the murders, Lyle and Erik spent their inheritance lavishly, adding to investigators suspicions that they were involved in the parents’ deaths. After months of guilt consumed Erik, he confessed to the murders to his psychologist, leading to the eventual arrests of him and older brother Lyle. Their trial became a national sensation as the public devoured court testimony and the brothers testified that the murders were driven by a lifetime of sexual abuse by their father. After a mistrial and deadlocked jury, the brothers were later retried and convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. Erik and Lyle remain in prison today, where they are serving their time in separate prisons, nearly 30 years since murdering their parents.”
Casting is currently underway for Lyle and Erik. Production will begin in February in Vancouver.
The Lifetime TV movie marks the latest scripted treatment for the Menendez brothers. NBC also is teaming with Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf for Law & Order: True Crime — The Menendez Brothers, an eight-episode anthology drama whose first season will focus on the brothers.
It’s also the latest true-crime TV movie for Lifetime, which in November aired Who Killed JonBenet?, a telepic about the mysterious death of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. That was one of multiple scripted and unscripted properties exploring the unsolved case.
True crime continues to be a hot genre for broadcast, cable, premium networks and streaming services following the success of HBO’s The Jinx, FX’s People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Netflix’s Making a Murderer, among others.
Love, repped by UTA, also counts episodes of Empire, Revenge and Sons of Anarchy among her TV credits.
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