Jed Mercurio, creator of hit series “Line of Duty” and “Bodyguard,” will executive produce a three-part sequel to BAFTA-winning 1999 single drama “The Murder of Stephen Lawrence,” for U.K. broadcaster ITV.
Titled “Stephen,” the series will be directed by Alrick Riley (“NCIS”) and written by Frank Cottrell Boyce (“The Railway Man”) and Joe Cottrell Boyce (“Vivid”). Paul Greengrass, who directed the 1999 drama, will executive produce alongside Mercurio, Mark Redhead (“The Secret”) and Jimmy Mulville (“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”). Mercurio’s HTM will produce, with Madonna Baptise (“The Stranger”) serving as producer.
“The Murder of Stephen Lawrence” (pictured) recreated the night in April 1993 when 18-year-old student Stephen Lawrence died after being attacked by a gang of youths in south London. The narrative was as seen through the eyes of his parents, Doreen and Neville Lawrence. The sequel will portray the investigation that secures the convictions of two of the gang who committed the murder of Stephen.
The series was commissioned by ITV’s head of drama, Polly Hill. HTM are producing the sequel with the full support of Doreen and Neville Lawrence.
Hill said: “The brilliant film, ‘The Murder of Stephen Lawrence,’ could only take the story so far, ‘Stephen’ continues that story. It’s important to remember just how long it took Doreen and Neville to get a conviction for two of the men responsible for the death of their son Stephen.”
Doreen Lawrence said: “Though the events portrayed in the film took place many years ago they are even more relevant today. I am aware that the experience of police racism that we suffered as a family has been the experience of many in the U.K. I hope that the film and the drama which has been commissioned will provide some insight into what we went through and give some hope to others that justice can eventually prevail.”
Neville Lawrence added: “That first film was important in telling Stephen’s story. It is important that the next part of the story is told, particularly at a time when, thanks to the Black Lives Matter campaign, concerns around institutional racism are so prominent.”
“The Murder of Stephen Lawrence” will be repeated on ITV on July 16. A live discussion program titled “Stephen Lawrence: Has Britain Changed?” will also air on ITV immediately before the re-broadcast of the original drama.
Hat Trick International is handling global distribution.