A high-end TV series that will delve into the 2017 assassination of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia is being developed by New York’s Topic Studios in partnership with U.S. incubator Vespucci Group and Italy’s Indiana Production.
Prominent Israeli film and TV writer Noah Stollman (“Fauda,” “Our Boys”) is on board to pen the screenplay, giving the project strong cachet.
The as yet untitled series is based on the book “Murder on the Malta Express” co-authored by British investigative journalist John Sweeney with Italy’s Carlo Bonini (“Suburra”) and Maltese journalist-blogger Manuel Delia.
“Through Manuel, John, and Carlo we have unprecedented access to an extremely timely story set against the backdrop of the global threat on journalism,” producer Daniel Turcan (“Marjorie Prime”) co-founder of Vespucci Group said in a joint statement.
The book investigating who killed Daphne Caruana Galizia published by Maltese imprint Midsea Books will be released on Sunday, October 14, two days before the two-year anniversary of her murder on the Mediterranean island where she had been probing money-laundering and corruption. Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in Malta when a bomb destroyed her car on Oct. 16 2017. She was 53.
Bonini is a member of the Daphne Project, a collective of international journalists that is continuing Caruana Galizia’s investigations into corruption and have also been investigating her death.
“Daphne’s tenacious investigations exposed Malta as a microcosm of global corruption, revealing collusion, off-shore bank accounts, money laundering, shady privatization deals, and severe sexual impropriety,” the statement said.
Fabrizio Donvito, CEO of Italy’s expanding Indiana Production (“The Leisure Seeker”) noted that “the investigations that have developed from her findings reveal close connections to Italy…and the Italian criminal underworld.”
In July three men were arrested and charged in Malta with Caruana Galizia’s murder. They are now awaiting trial, but there is no indication on who ordered the assassination.
Bowing to international pressure after long being criticized for allegedly muddying the waters the government of Malta in September announced it will launch an independent public inquiry into the murder.
A rep for Indiana said it was unlikely they would be allowed to use Malta as a location for the investigative series.
New York-based producer and distributor Topic Studios is the company behind the film “Spotlight,” which won the Academy Award for best picture. Since then, its credits have included Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace”; the political documentary “Dark Money” from Kimberly Reed; and Steven Soderbergh’s Panama Papers drama “The Laundromat,” starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas which recently bowed at Venice.