Feature Film About Prince Andrew’s Bombshell BBC Interview Heads to Netflix, Rufus Sewell Cast As Disgraced Royal
The very public catalyst that led to Prince Andrew’s dramatic fall from grace is heading to Netflix.
The streamer has acquired Scoop, a feature film based on the story behind the disgraced royal’s appearance on the BBC’s flagship news show Newsnight in 2019 — an hour of television that became one of the most significant, notorious and ridiculed interviews in recent years (and one that was then used against Andrew in the civil case filed by his sexual assault accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre).
Now in production, the film — which was first announced last year — will star Rufus Sewell The Diplomat, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel) as Andrew and Gillian Anderson (Sex Education, The Crown) as Emily Maitlis, Newsnight’s former lead presenter who interviewed the prince. Meanwhile, Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, It’s a Sin) will play Amanda Thirsk, Andrew’s former private secretary, and Billie Piper (I Hate Suzie, Collateral) will star as Sam McAlister, who negotiated and secured the bombshell booking.
Based on McAlister’s own memoir, Scoops: Behind The Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews, the film will tell the inside story of the women that broke through the Buckingham Palace establishment to land the scoop of the decade, starting with the first failed approach, through to the negotiations with Prince Andrew and his team, the rehearsals, the interview itself and the well-documented and humiliating aftermath, which was famously described as, “a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion.”
Emmy and BAFTA winner Philip Martin (The Crown, Prime Suspect, Wallander, Mo) directs the project, with Hilary Salmon and Radford Neville (Luther, The Night Of, MotherFatherSon) producing for The Lighthouse Film & Television alongside Sanjay Singhal (Bin Laden: The Road to 9/11, Trouble at Topshop) for Voltage TV.
“It is beyond my wildest dreams, especially as a first time writer, to end up working with this extraordinary cast, Netflix, and the amazing teams at The Lighthouse and Voltage,” said McAlister. “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.”
During the interview, which focused on Andrew’s relationship with late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and allegations of sexual assault of Giuffre by the royal when she was a minor, he infamously claimed that he had remained friends with Epstein, even after he had been released from prison, because he was “too honorable,” and said that he couldn’t have been clubbing with Giuffre on a particular night because he was at a branch of the restaurant chain Pizza Express with his children. He also asserted that claims he was “sweating profusely” on the night in question couldn’t be true because of a “peculiar medical condition” at the time that prevented him from sweating.
In early 2022, Andrew settled the sexual assault case with Giuffre out-of-court for a sum reported at the time as being £12 million ($14.4 million). The British press later reported that Queen Elizabeth II would assist Andrew with the payment of the settlement.