ITV has commissioned Manhunt, a new drama based on the memoirs of former London Metropolitan police detective DCI Colin Sutton.
Martin Clunes will take the role of former DCI Sutton who determinedly and tenaciously pursued serial killer Levi Bellfield.
Written by Ed Whitmore (Silent Witness, Rillington Place, Strike Back) and produced by Buffalo Pictures, Manhunt is the real-life story of how the murder of French National Amelie Delagrange on Twickenham Green in August 2004 was eventually linked to the murders of Marsha McDonnell in 2003 and the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler as she travelled home from school in 2002.
Walking home following a night out with friends, 22-year-old Amelie was savagely attacked and struck several times on the back of the head with a hammer.
Although relatively experienced in murder investigations, DCI Sutton was assigned to the case by London’s Metropolitan Police. Hard working and instinctive, Sutton dedicated himself to finding Amelie’s killer. With very little evidence, his painstaking approach and the diligence of his fellow officers gradually led to breakthroughs in the case.
Not to be underestimated, Sutton never ruled out similarities to the murders of Marsha McDonnell and Milly Dowler in the same southwest corner of London despite superior officers refusing to make the connection.
Manhunt will be directed by Marc Evans (Trauma, Safe House, Hinterland) and produced by Philippa Braithwaite (Doc Martin, Arthur & George). Filming will begin in the London area in March 2018.
Polly Hill, ITV’s Head of Drama, commented, ‘ITV has a strong tradition of bringing these important true stories to screen, so we are proud to commission Manhunt from Buffalo Pictures. With the full co-operation of ex DCI Colin Sutton, Manhunt dramatises his fight to find Amelie’s killer, Levi Bellfield. It is a powerful, compelling script from Ed Whitmore, which illustrates how a dedicated and resilient police officer was determined to leave no stone unturned. I am delighted that Martin Clunes is to play Colin Sutton, in what will be a powerful and unmissable performance.’
Philippa Braithwaite added, ‘Ed Whitmore has written a very sensitive and accurate portrayal of this significant case based extensively on DCI Colin Sutton’s very personal memoirs during his years as a senior police officer. We are very pleased to be producing Manhunt for ITV.’
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