×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BBC Orders ‘Definitive’ Documentary on Harvey Weinstein From Oscar-Winning Producer

The BBC is promising to bring viewers the “definitive” account of the Harvey Weinstein scandal after ordering a feature-length documentary from two-time Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn and his production company Lightbox. Although the British broadcaster will screen the documentary on TV, it is tentatively planning for an Academy and BAFTA award-qualifying theatrical release.

Lightbox said the 90-minute documentary would feature interviews with actresses who have accused Weinstein of misconduct as well as with journalists, producers, directors, actors, agents and lawyers involved in the scandal. Some of the people will be speaking publicly for the first time about the story.

Simon and Jonathan Chinn created Lightbox and, as the producer of Oscar-winning documentaries “Man on Wire” and “Searching for Sugar Man,” Simon comes to the project with some industry knowledge and contacts. “As a little bit of an [industry] insider, I was fascinated with the story as it unfolded and not a little shocked,” he told Variety. “As much as people knew a lot about Harvey and his reputation, there was plenty that we didn’t know.”

Chinn, who has met the disgraced mogul once, said the BBC Two documentary would retell the Weinstein story in light of recent revelations and in the context of the wider culture in Hollywood. “As the story evolved, we started to think about the industry as a whole and the culture and complicity of the industry, and the question of how Harvey got away with that level of alleged behavior and…whether we are looking at a real watershed moment,” he said.

Chinn added that Lightbox is already unearthing new aspects of the story. There is a strong U.S.-U.K. axis to the scandal, as authorities in both countries are investigating criminal allegations against Weinstein, who will be given a chance to participate in this film. At least one other major factual project on Weinstein is in the works in Britain.

Ursula MacFarlane (“Charlie Hebdo: Three Days That Shook Paris”) will direct. Chinn said it was significant that a woman was taking charge of the project. “I think she will come at the story with a female perspective,” he said. “She’s an incredibly sensitive filmmaker who will be able to relate to many of the victims of [Weinstein’s] alleged abuse with great sensitivity.”

Patrick Holland, controller of the BBC Two channel, added: “The breaking of silence over Harvey Weinstein is a watershed moment for the creative industries and for wider society. Ursula is a brilliant filmmaker and is perfectly placed to make the definitive documentary, piecing together the story of just how he abused his power and position.”

While “Weinstein” is the first major documentary on the scandal to be announced, it is unlikely to be the first to screen, as Lightbox will take most of 2018 to produce a comprehensive account. The BBC is tentatively in favor of a release along the lines of that for “LA92,” which is shortlisted for an Oscar and had a festival launch and an Academy and BAFTA award-qualifying theatrical release. Drive is handling international pre-sales.

Tom McDonald, head of commissioning of natural history and specialist factual for the BBC, said “Weinstein” would be a landmark feature on Hollywood and the Weinstein saga. “This is a film which will ask difficult and challenging questions about complicity, the price of silence and the corrosive effects of power, and I’m certain that Lightbox will bring their signature approach to this important subject.”

More TV

  • Mike Royce24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards,

    CBS Orders Comedy Pilot 'Story of Us' From 'One Day at a Time' Co-Creator Mike Royce

    CBS has ordered a pilot for the comedy “The Story of Us” from writer and executive producer Mike Royce. The hybrid comedy tells the story of how an unlikely couple becomes a family through interviews and vignettes spanning 10 years. In addition to Royce, Nick Stoller and Conor Welch will serve as executive producers. Sony [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Bob Costas Olympics Mike Tirico

    Bob Costas Officially Out at NBC After Nearly 40 Years

    Bob Costas has formally parted ways with NBC after nearly 40 years as a sportscaster for the Peacock. Costas and NBC have been negotiating an exit agreement for months. Word surfaced last summer that he was preparing to end his tenure with the network. Costas confirmed the news in an interview with the New York [...]

  • Happy

    TV Roundup: Syfy Drops First Trailer for Season 2 of 'Happy!'

    In today’s TV News Roundup, Syfy drops the first trailer for the second season of “Happy!” and Imagine Kids & Family sets a partnership with Four M Studios.  FIRST LOOKS Syfy has dropped the first trailer for season two of “Happy!” starring Christopher Meloni and Patton Oswalt. The new season premieres Wednesday, March 27 at 10/9c [...]

  • 'Brexit' Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Stars in

    TV Review: HBO's 'Brexit'

    The announcement of the film “Brexit” — which aired in the U.K. on Channel 4 before its HBO bow on Jan. 19 — engendered serious criticism from the British, and understandably so. The film, which looks at recent history in the manner HBO productions like “Game Change” and “Recount” had done, takes on a story whose very [...]

  • 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre' Reviews: Behind

    TV Review: 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre'

    It seems in retrospect unavoidable that the week of release for a highly-anticipated documentary about a scammer began with an attention-grabbing stunt. On Monday, in advance of the planned Friday drop of Netflix’s “Fyre,” Hulu executed a surprise release of its own “Fyre Fraud”; both films assay the failed 2017 gathering Fyre Festival, a would-be [...]

  • Deadly Class Review

    TV Review: 'Deadly Class' on SyFy

    High school, according to TV and movies, is either the best or worst thing that can happen to a person. It’s almost always depicted as the most fun a kid can have, or a horrifying hellhole from which there’s no escape. “Deadly Class” is decidedly in the latter camp — and despite its edgy attempts [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content