'Chernobyl' producers to take on Sophie story for TV series

May 13th, 2021 10:01 AM

By Siobhan Cronin

French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier who was murdered at her home at Toormore in December 1996.

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THERE is to be a third screen adaptation of the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder story.

Variety website in the US is reporting today that the popular West Cork podcast is to be made into a TV series.

The original audio series, made by British journalists Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde, was a huge hit when it was broadcast on Audible and this year was made available free on iTunes and Spotify.

But today Variety says TV production company Sister, which also produced the highly-acclaimed Chernobyl series, will take on the task of adapting the couple’s podcast for the small screen.

The podcast told the story of French film maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s murder, just days before Christmas, at her remote cottage in Toormore, outside Schull in 1996.

Nobody has been convicted in Ireland for her murder, but local Schull resident Ian Bailey was convicted in France, in 2019. He has always denied any involvement.

The Sister production of the story will be third so far. Sky’s Murder at the Cottage, directed by Jim Sheridan, is due any day, and there is a third production coming to Netflix.

However, this latest news is bound to create a lot of local interest, given the huge popularity of the original audio podcast.

After its release, West Cork was the No 1 nonfiction best seller on the Amazon-owned Audible’s Top 10 list for seven weeks and, after its release on iTunes, it was No 1 in Ireland, the UK, Canada and New Zealand, No 2 in Australia and the Netherlands and No 3 on the list of top Apple Podcasts in the US, Variety has reported.

It features wide-ranging interviews with local people, gardaí who investigated the murder, witnesses, and the couple spent many hours with Ian Bailey himself, including accompanying him to court appearances in Dublin.

Read the very first interview with Sam and Jennifer on the making of the West Cork podcast here.


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