Production on Netflix’s upcoming film, Scoop, has begun, with Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell joining the main cast. The film is set to recount the 2019 BBC interview regarding Prince Andrew’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
As revealed in a recent Deadline article, Anderson, who is best known for portraying Margaret Thatcher in The Crown and playing Dana Scully in The X Files, will take a lead role in the new film. The actress will portray the former lead presenter of Newsnight, Emily Maitlis, who conducted the 2019 interview with Prince Andrew. Starring opposite her as the disgraced prince will be Sewell, whose most recent acting appearance was in Old as Charles. His casting comes after it was revealed in July last year that Hugh Grant (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Bridget Jones) was on the shortlist to play the prince.
Anderson and Sewell will be joined by Keeley Hawes and Billie Piper, the latter having gained approval from the person she is portraying. Hawes (Bodyguard, The Durrells) is set to portray Prince Andrew’s former Private Secretary Amanda Thirsk. Piper (Beast, Secret Diary of a Call Girl) will play Newsnight’s producer Sam McAlister, the author of the memoir, Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews, upon which the new film is based. McAlister was also responsible for negotiating and securing the booking of Prince Andrew for the interview. “It is beyond my wildest dream, especially as a first-time writer, to end up working with this extraordinary cast, Netflix, and the amazing teams at The Lighthouse and Voltage,” McAlister said of the upcoming film, praising the casting choices. “Watching Billie Piper, one of my favourite actresses, play ‘me’ will be a pinch myself moment and I’m truly thrilled to be involved in this film.”
What to Expect From ‘Scoop’?
Scoop’s director, Philip Martin, explained that he wanted to show the world how the reporters went above and beyond to get the answers people wanted. “I’m thrilled to be directing this film for Netflix and—together with an extraordinary cast—to be bringing Sam McAlister’s revelatory insider’s account to the screen,” Martin, who also served as director of The Crown, enthused about the project. “Uptempo, immersive and cinematic, I want to put the audience inside the breathtaking sequence of events that led to the interview with Prince Andrew—to tell a story about a search for answers, in a world of speculation and varying recollections.” He went on to explain that the film will allow viewers to see how stories are formed in the media and the power of it to inform viewers’ opinions. “It’s a film about power, privilege and differing perspectives and how—whether in glittering palaces or hi-tech newsrooms—we judge what’s true.”
Scoop, which was first revealed to be in the works last year, will focus on the women responsible for exposing Prince Andrew’s involvement with Epstein and ultimately leading to his fall from grace. The film will show viewers the hurdles faced by those involved with gaining the interview with the prince, from dealing with Palace vetoes and high-stakes negotiations to rehearsing the questions and covering the interview itself. The film will also provide viewers with an inside look at both the inner workings of the Palace and the BBC. Martin will serve as director for the film, with Hilary Salmon and Radford Neville producing for The Lighthouse Film & Television and Sanjay Singhal producing for Voltage TV.
Scoop does not yet have a release date.