Brittany Murphy

HBO’s Brittany Murphy documentary promises to “go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines”

Posted by for Film

HBO has promised to “go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines” in a new documentary about the life and death of actor Brittany Murphy.

In 2009, the world was shocked and saddened over the news that Brittany Murphy had died aged 32. A coroner’s report said the actor – who was best known and loved for her roles in Clueless, 8 Mile, Uptown Girl, and Girl, Interrupted – died of pneumonia and severe anemia, but there has since been much speculation over Murphy’s cause of death

Murphy’s life story is now going to be explored in a new two-part documentary by HBO. And, at a time when documentaries are delving into contentious issues around female celebrities (think Caroline Flack: Her Life And Death and Framing Britney Spears), this one promises to “go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines”.

As per HBO’s press release, the documentary will present an “in-depth, intimate character portrait, exploring the life and career and mysterious circumstances surrounding the tragic death”. It will “go beyond the conspiracy theories and headlines” by featuring new interviews by those closest to Murphy and new archival footage.

Jennifer O’Connell from HBO Max has said she acknowledges the project comes with “great responsibility”. She explained: “Our Brittany Murphy documentary cuts through the tabloid noise with an elevated, nuanced depiction of a sensational story.”

Brittany Murphy in Clueless
Brittany Murphy starred in 90s film Clueless.

Director Cynthia Hill said she wants to celebrate Murphy’s talents and achievements: “I agreed to do this film because I think it’s a shame that Brittany’s promising life and career has been eclipsed by the circumstances of her death. I think it’s important to celebrate Brittany’s talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon’s deaths.”

Although the documentary has been confirmed, we don’t yet have a release date. But it sounds like, when it does come out, it will offer a rounded examination of Murphy’s life. 

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Shutterstock, Paramount Pictures

Share this article

Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…