Amanda Knox, the onetime foreign exchange student imprisoned for the murder of her roommate, may soon be on a TV near you. Lifetime is planning the February 21 premiere of Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy, a TV movie starring Hayden Panettiere as the college student. Knox’s lawyers have written to Lifetime, asking that the film not be aired for fear that it might affect the appeals process (the family of Meredith Kercher, Knox’s slain roommate filed a similar, separate request). Knox’s lawyers also indicated their willingness to pursue legal action as the film’s air date nears.
The film’s official page on Lifetime’s website remains up–including a “Hayden Panettiere photo gallery” of red-carpet shots–though it’s curiously not listed on IMDb, unlike, say, Lifetime’s “The Craigslist Killer.” Lifetime has bet heavily on re-enactments of recent history, pleasant (as in the upcoming William & Kate) or gruesome. It’s a bet that has thus far been successful. Lifetime’s publicist did not respond to a request for comment, but commenters on “myLifetime Community” are largely unhappy with what they see as the exploitation of a real-life case. One commenter, though, notes, “timing never seems to be tasteful, but Lifetime movies are all about this, the empowerment of women, the struggles of women, all things positive and negative.” Lifetime’s made its name on the back of such stories, often fictional. More and more, though, they will have to fend off the lawyers of the people they portray if they choose to become a clearinghouse for real-life drama.
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