Media excluded from Breivik hearing

Discovery Networks Intl. has commissioned ITN Prods. to produce a news documentary about Friday’s Oslo bomb blast and mass shooting on the island of Utoya in which 76 people lost their lives.

“Norway Massacre: The Killer’s Mind” will air on Discovery Channel across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region in August.

Deal comes as the suspect in the killings, Anders Behring Breivik, made his first court appearance in Oslo on Monday.

Doc will examine the criminal mind and motives of Breivik. It also will explore the rise of the far right in Norway and elsewhere in Europe, a cause Breivik openly espoused.

“Discovery has an office in Oslo and understands the extreme gravity of this situation and how it has affected all Norwegians,” said Luis Silberwasser, DNI exec VP and chief content officer.

The one-hour doc was commissioned by Elizabeth McIntyre, head of production and development at DNI Factual; Chris Shaw at ITN exec produces.

Breivik’s court appearance was held behind closed doors, denying him the media platform he craved. Judge Kim Heger excluded the public and media following the advice of from the police.

Breivik was remanded to custody for eight weeks and will be held incommunicado for the first four. He will not be allowed visitors, apart from his lawyer; will be denied phone and mail contact with the outside world; and will have no access to any form of news media.

Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said earlier Monday that his client requested the hearing be held in the open — and that he be allowed to wear a uniform — “because he wants to explain himself.”

An online petition that called for a media blackout of Breivik’s court appearances gained widespread support in Norway on Monday. It seeks to prevent Breivik from using the case as a platform for his extremist views.

Business daily DN had speculated that Breivik saw the murders almost as a marketing operation for a far-right manifesto he has written. Other media reports said Breivik saw his trial as the propaganda part of his mission.Just before the attacks Breivik posted a 1,500-page manifesto in English on the Internet, as well as a 12-minute English-language video, titled “Knights Templar 2083,” on YouTube.

In the manifesto, Breivik describes how he prepared himself for the attacks. One section states: “I simulate various future scenarios relating to resistance efforts, confrontations with police, future interrogation scenarios, future court appearances, future media interviews etc.”

Both manifesto and video set out his views that the European liberal elite were peddling cultural Marxism, which was causing the Islamization of Europe.

Among the targets in the video is the BBC, with one image showing the BBC’s logo with the “C” changed into an Islamic crescent.

The video includes sections on the military campaigns of medieval Christian crusaders as well as photographs of himself dressed in a formal military uniform, and in a wet suit brandishing an automatic rifle.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more