Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, the filmmaker duo behind hit Netflix series Making a Murderer, have announced their next project – and it already sounds like a recipe for compulsive viewing.
Teaming up with George Clooney’s production company, Smokehouse Pictures, the pair will take on the pharmaceutical industry by adapting a series of articles, originally published on the Huffington Post under the title America's Most Admired Lawbreaker, into a scripted TV drama series.
Written by journalist Steven Brill, the original series of articles reported how pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson made billions of dollars by marketing a damaging drug called Risperdal to children and the elderly. Following legal action, the company was ordered to pay a $2 billion settlement – but Johnson & Johnson had already brought in $30 billion from sales of the drug.
This will be the first TV series for Clooney’s company, which has previously produced films such as The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Ides of March and The Monuments Men.
It will be the first project for Ricciardi and Demos since their 10-part series Making a Murderer was released on Netflix in December 2015.
A second series of that particular project has yet to be announced, but the pair recently spoke to The Los Angeles Times about their ongoing involvement in Steven Avery’s case.
“We’re still in touch with Steven,” says Demos. “I think our role as someone to listen to him, to give him a voice, was very clear all along. If anything, that’s the same now. But now he has more support than ever – people writing him letters, more members of his family visiting him.”
In the same interview, Ricciardi also hints at the transformative effects that Avery’s new legal team has had on his case.
“Steven hadn’t been represented by counsel since 2011. He was representing himself for a number of years before the series came out. Now he has a new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, who has a record of overturning wrongful convictions. He’s feeling very good about that. Steven is very limited and not well educated. To think of him going to the law library and trying to prepare his own motions, do his own legal research. Go from that to Kathleen Zellner? It’s a big leap.”
It's yet to be announced where Demos and Ricciardi's latest series will be shown, but we're keeping everything crossed for Netflix or Amazon Prime.