Sony Pictures Television backed Eleventh Hour Films has secured the screen rights to produce a limited drama series based on the true crime podcast ‘Hunting Ghislaine’ from LBC and Global.
Launched in November 2020, written and presented by award-winning investigative journalist and author John Sweeney (BBC Panorama, The Observer), the six-part podcast co-commissioned by Global and The Story Lab, part of dentsu, tells the story of Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of disgraced billionaire media tycoon Robert Maxwell and former partner of notorious convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
As Epstein’s girlfriend, his alleged pimp and partner in a series of sex crimes Ghislaine has remained in the shadows. When Epstein’s life began to unravel, Ghislaine vanished, only to reappear when she was arrested by the FBI last year. She denies six charges of enticing girls for sex with Epstein and perjury.
Paula Cuddy, Creative Director and Executive Producer for Eleventh Hour Films, said, “John’s compelling podcast ‘Hunting Ghislaine’ puts Ghislaine Maxwell centre stage, unravels her story and asks what went wrong for the girl who seemingly had it all. Set in a richly glittering international world, dark secrets are revealed and always in the shadows looms the formative relationship between a daughter and her father. It has all the hallmarks of a premium drama – and with John alongside our partners at Global and The Story Lab we look forward to delivering.”
John Sweeney said, “The grim shadow Robert Maxwell cast over people, above all his favourite child, Ghislaine, has long fascinated me. It was a privilege to be able to tell that story to listeners for Global and The Story Lab, working with Chalk & Blade. I could not be more thrilled that a company with the profile, expertise and stellar slate of Eleventh Hour Films now want to make a TV series based on our podcast.”
Paula Cuddy, Eve Gutierrez and Jill Green will executive produce for EHF alongside Chris Baughen for Global and Robbie Ashcroft for The Story Lab. John Sweeney will act as series consultant and executive producer.
Chris Baughen, Managing Editor for Global Player said: “As her story continues to unfold almost daily, John Sweeney’s brilliant dissection of Ghislaine Maxwell’s life so far has gripped listeners. As the podcast industry continues to thrive and experience incredible growth, it’s fantastic to see a Global original podcast adapted into visual content.”
Robbie Ashcroft, Managing Partner, Entertainment Development of The Story Lab said, “As soon as The Story Lab heard John Sweeney’s vision for the Hunting Ghislaine podcast we saw its potential to evolve from sound to screen. We’re thrilled to continue on this collaborative journey with our wonderful partners John and Global, and we are delighted to connect with Paula, Eve, Jill and the passionate team at Eleventh Hour Films to develop this story into a television drama event.”