Netflix has released the first images from its upcoming film about Prince Andrew’s infamous 2019 Newsnight interview.
Scoop will be based on chapters from former BBC producer Sam McAlister’s memoir on how the explosive interview, in which the royal spoke about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was secured.
Rufus Sewell, who starred in The Man In The High Castle and The Diplomat, can be seen playing the duke while The X Files and Sex Education star Gillian Anderson takes on the role of interviewer Emily Maitlis.
Netflix has also released an image of Billie Piper, who will be portraying McAlister.
McAlister, who previously said watching Piper play her would be a “pinch myself moment”, shared the photo of the actress on social media yesterday and simply wrote: “Mind. Blown.”
Sewell spent around three hours in the make-up chair prior to filming, Philip Martin, Scoop’s director, told The Sunday Telegraph.
The Emmy and BAFTA-winning director also said Anderson studied the interview extensively to pick up Maitlis’s mannerisms.
‘The inside track’
Scoop is billed as “the inside track of the women that broke through the Buckingham Palace establishment to secure the scoop of the decade… spotlighting the journalists whose tenacity and guts broke through the highest of ceilings”.
Prince Andrew’s appearance on the BBC programme was intended to dispel increasing scrutiny of his relationship with Epstein, who died in prison earlier that year – as well as allegations that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl.
However, the interview with Maitlis was branded “disastrous” and “excruciating” when it aired in November 2019 – making headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons.
The duke stepped away from public life after the interview.
He paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case with Virginia Giuffre, who said she was trafficked by Epstein.
He denied all her claims and said he had never met her.
‘Breathtaking sequence of events’
Introducing the film, Martin, who also directed episodes of The Crown, said: “Up-tempo, 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.
“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 is produced by Hilary Salmon and Radford Neville (Luther, The Night Of) for The Lighthouse Film & Television, with Sanjay Singhal (Bin Laden: The Road to 9/11, Trouble at Topshop) for Voltage TV.