American Vandal trailer

With Making a Murderer, Amanda Knox, and The Keepers, Netflix has fully embraced the true crime documentary format in a big way, and those projects generated significant buzz surrounding the streaming service.

At first glance, their new docu-series American Vandal looks like another project that fits alongside the aforementioned docs, but it wasn’t long before I realized this show – which, yes, centers on spray-painted penis drawings – is actually Netflix’s way of satirically mocking the very format it’s seemingly leaned into in the past few years.
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I’ve said it before: if you get a chance to option an article written by David Grann, do it. The guy’s got a masterful nose for story, or one hell of an editor at the New Yorker), and his articles are almost universally being used as the basis for films.

(Other Grann work in development includes The Old Man and the GunThe Lost City of Z, The Yankee Comandante and The Brand; his article The Chameleon inspired The Imposter.)

One piece, True Crime, was optioned by producers Brett Ratner and David Gerson, who once had the project set up at Focus. That situation didn’t work out, but now they’ve landed Christoph Waltz to star. The story tells of a Polish writer who was targeted as the prime suspect in a cold case murder thanks to his novel in which the details of one character’s murder lined up surprisingly well with those of the real case.

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The past couple years have seen Roman Polanski embroiled once more in decades-old controversy, but he is continuing to do the work of making movies. His most recent project, Carnage, has just been picked up for released by Sony Pictures Classics. And now he is reportedly considering a new film called True Crime, which tells of a very unusual murder case in Poland. Read More »