ITV is to follow-up Paul Greengrass’ BAFTA-winning 1999 drama The Murder of Stephen Lawrence with a sequel series following the pursuit of justice for the murdered teenager.
The UK commercial broadcaster has commissioned three-part series Stephen, which will be made by Hat Trick Mercurio Television, the production outfit co-owned by Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio and Hat Trick Productions, the Jimmy Mulville-run indie behind Matt LeBlanc’s Golden Globe-winning Episodes.
Frank Cottrell Boyce (Hilary And Jackie) and Joe Cottrell Boyce (Treasure) are writing Stephen, while it will be directed by Alrick Riley (The Cops). Madonna Baptiste (The Stranger) is the producer, while Greengrass and Mark Redhead — who produced the original drama — serve as executive producers. Mulville and Mercurio are also executive producers.
With the full support of Doreen and Neville Lawrence, the story will portray events from 2006, 13 years after Stephen’s death in a racially motivated attack while he was waiting for a bus in south London. It will chart Doreen and Neville’s struggle to achieve justice and how their efforts, working with DCI Clive Driscoll, eventually secured convictions of two of the gang members who murdered Stephen.
Baroness Doreen Lawrence said: “I am aware that the experience of police racism that we suffered as a family has been the experience of many in the UK. 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: “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.”
ITV head of drama Polly Hill said: “It feels appropriate for us to return to the Stephen Lawrence case on ITV. The brilliant film, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, could only take the story so far, Stephen continues that story.”
The Murder of Stephen Lawrence will be repeated on Thursday, July 16, on ITV. The sequel drama will be distributed by Hat Trick International.
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