Prince Andrew's spectacular fall from grace was sparked by a highly public event that will soon be available on Netflix.
Scoop, a feature film based on the tale of the disgraced royal's appearance on the BBC's flagship news programme Newsnight in 2019—an hour of television that became one of the most significant, notorious, and mocked interviews in recent years—has been bought by the streaming service (and one that was then used against Andrew in the civil case filed by his sexual assault accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre).
The movie, which was first revealed last year, is currently in development and stars Rufus Sewell. Andrew (The Diplomat, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Emily Maitlis, a former Newsnight lead anchor who spoke with the prince, are played by Gillian Anderson (Sex Education, The Crown) and Andrew, respectively. Meanwhile, Billie Piper (I Hate Suzie, Collateral) will play Sam McAlister, who negotiated and landed the bombshell booking, while Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, It's a Sin) will play Amanda Thirsk, Andrew's former personal assistant.
The movie, which is based on McAlister's autobiography Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC's Most Shocking Interviews, tells the inside story of the women who broke through Buckingham Palace's hierarchy to secure the scoop of the decade, from the first unsuccessful approach to the negotiations with Prince Andrew and his team, the rehearsals, the interview itself, and the well-documented and humiliating aftermath, which was famously described as “a plane crashing.”
The project is directed by Emmy and BAFTA winner Philip Martin (The Crown, Prime Suspect, Wallander, Mo), and it is produced by Hilary Salmon and Radford Neville for The Lighthouse Film & Television and Sanjay Singhal for Voltage TV (Luther, The Night Of, MotherFatherSon).
Working with this fantastic cast, Netflix, and the incredible staff at The Lighthouse and Voltage is beyond my wildest aspirations, especially as a first-time writer, added McAlister. I'll have to pinch myself when I see one of my favourite actresses, Billie Piper, in the role of “me,” therefore I'm overjoyed to be a part of this movie.
In the course of the interview, which was centred on Andrew's friendship with the late convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and the allegations that the royal had sexually assaulted Giuffre when she was a minor, he made a number of infamous statements, including that he couldn't have been out clubbing with Giuffre on a particular night because he was at a Pizza Express location. He further claimed that the allegations that he was “sweating heavily” on the disputed night could not be genuine due to a “peculiar medical problem” that prohibited him from sweating at the time.
Early in 2022, Andrew and Giuffre reached an out-of-court settlement for a figure that was reportedly £12 million ($14.4 million) at the time. Later, the British press stated that Andrew would receive assistance from Queen Elizabeth II with the settlement amount.