Hayden Panettiere as Amanda Knox
Amanda who you might ask? Well if I told you she was the young woman found guilty and convicted of murdering her room-mate Meredith Kercher in the Italian town of Perugia, you might know now.
The story was all over the news as the murder seemed to be quite torturous and horrific, and Knox and her Italian boyfriend were arrested on suspicion of murdering her which they denied.
It seems that now is the time to make a film about their story, and Amanda Knox's life, although I suspect that the film will be more keen to focus on the murder and that night, for that's where all the media excitement lay, and Hayden Panettiere is set to play Amanda Knox as she turns away from her Heroes role.
The court case ran for eleven months and all three were convicted. Knox received twenty six years, Sollecito twenty five years, and a separate trial for Guede saw thirty years.
Amanda Knox still protests her innocence and Deadline Hollywood Daily, who carry the story of the film being made, raise the point that the U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington state, where Knox comes from, spoke out about the guilty verdict and stated that it...
”...serious questions about the Italian justice system and whether anti-Americanism tainted this trial”
However a jury found them guilty, and sentenced them to most of their lives in jail.
Now the article tells us that Hayden Panettiere will play Amanda Knox in a film about her, and most likely not just her life but the events of that night. Right now there's no word on which way the story will turn, but I suspect that it will present them as guilty and scheming, after all they were found guilty and convicted.
Yet Knox still protests her innocence, and it's clear that others believe that too, and it's not just Knox.
Reading more about the events after the trial Rudy Hermann Guede did receive a thirty year sentence on 28th October 2008 which was then reduced to sixteen years on appeal, and another appeal which was filed in March 2010, I'm not sure if it has actually been heard yet or not.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted on 4th December 2009 and their appeals are expected to be heard in December with a verdict in early 2011.
There was a great deal of controversy around the trial and there's just as much about the appeal coming from both sides for and against Knox's innocence with recognised experts on both, allegations of violence against the prisoners, lawsuits raised against Knox and her family for stating they were hit by the police, allegations of anti-Americanism and biased juries with full access to the media throughout, and so on.
I must admit to not knowing all the facts, and the Wikipedia article is under dispute, but at the same time, it's reading of the evidence is rather surprising as my memory of the media was that these three were guilty without a doubt.
This is where my concerns about a film lie. With calls of the seemingly biased nature of the trial and of the appeals, how is a film going to help? Surely a film is going to present a pretty set point of view, coming from a few screenwriters and one director? Unless they are very clever about the writing and production it's undoubtedly going to be from some point of view, and that could have an influence on public opinion, a public that could reach to Italy and perhaps even one of those jurors.
Of course the film can't be blamed alone for this, there are already books out there about the events and the media was leaping all over it from the initial few hours. It's difficult to say whether this film should go ahead or not, but it is.
The question is not whether Knox is guilty or not, but will this film affect the appeals that are still to take place?