After mining the depths of American Crime Stories and American Horror Stories to wildly successful results, prolific TV producer Ryan Murphy will combine these two impulses. Per Deadline, Murphy is bringing the story of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer to Netflix in the form of a limited series called Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. And he’s bringing quite the creative team with him.
Monster (which, it must be said, is also the name of the Charlize Theron-Oscar winning examination of killer Aileen Wuornos‘ life, and I do find that weird) comes from co-creators Murphy and Ian Brennan, the same duo that created Glee. Brennan, Janet Mock (Pose), and David McMillan (Lucifer) will write the 10-episode series together, with Mock and Carl Franklin (Mindhunter) directing episodes as well. Producers include Murphy, Brennan, Mock, Franklin, McMillan, Rashad Johnson of the Color of Change racial justice organization, and Alexis Martin Woodall, Eric Kovtun, and Scott Robertson of Ryan Murphy Productions. Production is expected to begin January 2021.
Thus far, only one actor has been slated for the series: Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), who will play Dahmer’s father Lionel, a chemist who shared techniques of preserving animal bones with his young child; techniques that Dahmer would use on his victims later. The production is casting a nationwide search to find the performer to play the leading role of Jeffrey Dahmer, and is also searching for the role of Glenda Cleveland, Dahmer’s neighbor who kept telling the police about his strange behaviors, to no avail. This level of justice system failure, especially as it relates to Dahmer’s white male privilege, will be a topic of psychological dissection for the series.
Will this take on the Dahmer story be a necessary, engaging miniseries? Or will Murphy’s sensationalist tendencies get the best of him? We’ll find out later next year.