Prince Andrew 'Newsnight' Interview to Be Turned Into 'Thrilling' New Drama

Prince Andrew is getting the movie star treatment, though probably not in a way that he would approve of.

It was announced on Thursday, per Deadline, that the royal's car crash interview with Emily Maitlis for Newsnight regarding his friendship with notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is to be the subject of a feature length movie titled Scoops.

The announcement of the project comes after Andrew made a failed attempt to return to public life in June when it was announced that he intended to take part in the annual Garter Day ceremonies at Windsor Castle. Despite sources close to the prince saying he intended to take part, a decision was made at the last minute that he would only be involved in the private aspects of the day.

Prince Andrew "Newsnight" Interview Movie Adaptation
Prince Andrew photographed on May 12, 2017, with Maitlis (inset left) on October 5, 2015, and Giuffre (inset right) on October 22, 2019. A movie looking at Andrew's 2019 interview with Maitlis regarding his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and allegations made by Giuffre is due to begin shooting in November. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Women's Media Award

Scoops will focus on how the BBC's 2019 Newsnight interview with Andrew came about, with a particular focus on the three women at its center; Emily Maitlis, the broadcast journalist who gave the interview, Sam McAlister, the Newsnight producer, and Esme Wren, the Newsnight editor.

The film will be based on the book Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC's Most Shocking Interviews, which was written by McAlister and optioned by Hilary Salmon.

Screenwriter Peter Moffat, behind the 2020 crime series Your Honor, is set to adapt the text with shooting planned to start this November.

Moffat told Deadline that the project would focus on "how the BBC's Newsnight team got the scoop, then the actual filming of it."

"The other thing is, 'why did he agree to do it?'" he adds.

"How was it that he decided it was a good idea to do a great big long interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC?"

Andrew's decision to undertake the interview with Maitlis has been widely criticized, with the fallout being compared to Princess Diana's 1995 interview with BBC's Panorama.

Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein
Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein photographed together at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 12, 2000. Andrew is now getting the movie star treatment, though probably not in a way that he would approve of. Davidoff Studios/Getty Images

Maitlis questioned the prince on his relationship with Epstein and with associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who was recently jailed for 20 years for her role in trafficking girls for Epstein to sleep with.

The presenter also discussed with Andrew claims made by Epstein abuse victim Virginia Giuffre, who alleged that the prince had sexually assaulted her while she was 17.

Andrew denied the allegations to Maitlis, offering an alibi that he was at a pizza restaurant with his daughter on the night an assault was alleged to have taken place. He also said that Giuffre's claim that he sweats excessively was false because he physically did not sweat.

The fallout from the interview was swift and was part of a series of events that led to Andrew stepping away from public life. Giuffre brought a lawsuit against the prince in 2021, and in 2022, after returning his military and charity patronages to the queen, he settled the case out of court for a sum estimated to be in excess of $10 million.

Since settling in February, the prince has made only one official public appearance and that was at the memorial service to his father Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey in March. The royal's prominent position in the ceremony, entering at the queen's side, opened both figures up to a large amount of criticism.

Prince Andrew Attends Prince Philip Memorial Service
Prince Andrew caused a wave of criticism to be launched at himself and the queen after he entered Prince Philip's memorial service at her side on March 29, 2022. A movie is going to be made about the prince's notorious interview on the BBC's Newsnight. Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Image

It's understood that portions of the Newsnight interview are to be restaged for the movie, with no firm casting decisions having yet been made.

"The reaction is always the same, 'Oh, wow'," Salmon said, per Deadline, adding: "We have, of course, thoughts" but "no one is attached."

Speaking of his interest in the Scoops project, Moffat added: "Sam and those two extraordinary women, Emily and Esme, made the interview happen under real stress and pressure because once it was agreed it happened in secret. Almost nobody inside the BBC could know about it for fear it would leak,"

"What Andrew was going to say," he continued, "was going to be extremely relevant in court later... a real responsibility, particularly to Epstein's women victims. It was our one shot at looking at what Andrew had to say about Epstein."

He then concluded that the circumstances around the interview "makes for very thrilling drama."

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