Casting is underway for the brothers, Lyle and Erik, and the father, Jose Menendez.
Lifetime’s TV movie will reveal the extreme abuse the brothers endured at their father’s hands, while their mother looked the other way.
Based on the true story, the flick explores the inner lives and motivation behind the murders of entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife Kitty at the hands of their sons Lyle and Erik in 1989. During their trial, the brothers testified that the murders were driven by a lifetime of sexual abuse by their father. They were ultimately sentenced to life without parole, and both remain in separate prisons today.
The highly-publicized case became a national news story, which still garners interest from the public.
Lifetime’s movie follows ABC’s two-hour special earlier this month, which drew a respectable, but not earth-shattering, 1.7 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and 7.05 million viewers. After viewing within a week was counted, it jumped up to a 2.1 in the demo and 8.4 million viewers.
The Menendez brothers programming trend follows the recent wave of true crime stories with O.J. Simpson and JonBenet Ramsey’s cases taking the spotlight over the past year. For the latter, Lifetime also put out a TV movie about the pint-sized pageant queen’s murder.
Lifetime’s untitled Menendez brothers film will be directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, who are also executive producers. The script is written by Abdi Nazemian. Production will begin next month in Vancouver.
Love is repped by UTA.