Boeing 737 Max Disaster Series in Works From Rory Kennedy, Imagine Documentaries (EXCLUSIVE)

Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy is teaming with Imagine Entertainment for a new series about the tragedy and subsequent scandal over the defunct Boeing 737-Max airplane, sources tell Variety.

Kennedy and her husband and producing partner, Emmy-nominated writer Mark Bailey, are teaming up with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s unscripted division at Imagine, run by Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein.

The project will examine the months since the tragedies, which caused global panic in March 2019 after two new aircrafts crashed within five months, killing 346 people. Much reporting has focused on improperly vetted design flaws and an internal push for speed at Boeing, while other accounts have pointed to pilot inexperience and poor airmanship. In addition to human cost, the reputation of the iconic company has been tarnished.

Kennedy’s project, built around first-person accounts from the people who experienced the events, is said to put a human face on the complicated issues being raised. It also hopes to let audiences make up their own minds about what happened and why, insiders close to the project said.

The untitled series marks is the first co-production between Imagine Documentaries and Kennedy and Bailey’s Moxie Films. Distribution plans were not immediately clear.

Kennedy’s 2014 documentary “Last Days in Vietnam,” which told the story of the Vietnam War’s final weeks, was nominated for an Oscar for documentary feature. She won the Emmy for nonfiction special in 2007 for her film “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib,” which chronicled the American abuse of detainees in Abu Ghraib prison in 2003. Bailey co-wrote both features.

Imagine Documentaries was formed in 2018 with a focus on developing and producing premium feature documentaries and non-scripted television. Upcoming releases include the Toronto International Film Festival opening night film “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band,” executive produced by Martin Scorsese, which will be released by Magnolia Pictures on Feb. 21; a feature documentary on NBA-star Dwyane Wade (ESPN Films) premiering Feb. 23; as well as Bryce Dallas Howard’s “Dads,” premiering on Apple TV Plus this year.

Also on deck at Imagine Documentaries is the film “Rebuilding Paradise” at NatGeo, which follows the Paradise, Calif., wildfires that most recently ravaged a community; “On Pointe,” a series showcasing students at the School of American Ballet leading up to the annual performance of the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center for Disney Plus; Supervillain: and “Gossip,” a limited series focusing on New York Post columnist Cindy Adams at Showtime.

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