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With Jeffrey Epstein’s former lover Ghislaine Maxwell already the subject of several upcoming documentaries, powerhouse Brit producers Working Title have turned their attention to her notorious father.
The company has optioned the TV rights to Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell from John Preston — author of A Very English Scandal and The Dig (which was recently adapted for film by Netflix) — and published earlier this month by Viking, with plans to turn it into a limited series.
The book delivers the definitive account of the business tycoon’s extraordinary rise, scandalous fall and mysterious death, attempting to disentangle the man from the monster and answer the riddle of how one turned into the other. In February 1991, Maxwell, the Czech-born British media mogul seemed like he had finally outgunned Rupert Murdoch and completed his purchase of the ailing New York Daily News. But just nine months later, he drowned at sea, having fallen off his yacht the Lady Ghislaine by accident, suicide or, some conspiracists said, murder.
Even as he was being buried with great pomp in a semi-state funeral on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the publishing empire Maxwell had built was collapsing, leaving behind billions in debt, the plundered pension funds of his employees and a broken family.
“Robert Maxwell is one of the fascinating, complex figures of the 20th Century and I think Working Title are the perfect people to turn it into a television series,” said Preston, who spent 10 years as the Sunday Telegraph’s television critic and one of its chief feature writers.
Working Title will aim for a production start later this year.
Preston is repped by Yasmin McDonald at United Agents and Natasha Fairweather at Rogers Coleridge & White.
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