In honor of the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Gabby Petito approaching later this year, Lifetime will release a film titled The Gabby Petito Story, with Emmy-Nominated actress Thora Birch attached to the project as a co-star and director, Deadline reports. It is said the film will explore the relationship between Gabby and her fiancé Brian Laundrie as the two set off on a trip across the country, which led to Gabby’s unfortunate passing. Birch will star as Gabby’s mother for the film, Nichole Schmidt.
The Gabby Petito Story will explore the story of Gabby, who was a bright-eyed 22-year-old and up-and-coming travel YouTuber, and was traveling across the country with her fiancé Brian Laundrie while supporting the hashtag #Van-Life. Her parents, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, reported their daughter missing in September 2021, setting off an intense nationwide search and investigation into what really happened to her. Given the massive exposure the story received, it led common internet users to look more in-depth at Gabby’s social media pages, which then revealed multiple clues and eventually led authorities to her body in Wyoming later that month. All the while, Laundrie refused to cooperate with the police, eventually leading to him committing suicide without ever saying a word.
Gregory Small and Richard Blaney, who also worked on the television film Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret and Gone Mom: The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, are writing the film, and it will be produced by Hybrid. It will also mark the directorial debut for Birch, as well as her return to Lifetime films. The star can be seen in shows and films such as The Walking Dead, Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story, 1993’s Hocus Pocus, and much more.
The Gabby Petito Story is part of Lifetime‘s Emmy award-winning Stop Violence Against Women Public Affairs campaign. It also includes films about other women’s abuse stories, including Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, Adriane Fields, Beatrice Weston, and various others, all of which are in different stages of development. The film will certainly be an interesting and educational watch, and one all audiences will want to tune in to.
Although it’s undoubtedly nice to see Birch’s return to action, further casting details for The Gabby Petito Story is still unknown at this time. Keep up with Collider for future information on the film.