Over the years, the Royal Family have had their fair share of scandals, but none were quite as, shall we say unique as Prince Andrew’s 2019 BBC Newsnight interview, where he addressed his controversial relationship with convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.
Over the 58-minute duration of the interview, conducted by BBC journalist Emily Maitlis, the Duke of York’s answers went from off-piste to, frankly speaking, a full blown train crash.
And now, that near-unbelievable moment is being immortalised on the big screen—acclaimed screenwriter Peter Moffat will pen Scoop, a film covering how the BBC’s Newsnight team actually secured the royal scoop of the decade.
Speaking to Deadline about the project, Moffat explained that the film would beg the question: “‘Why did he agree to do it?’ How was it that he decided it was a good idea to do a great big long interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC?”
Below, everything we know about the film so far—including its rumoured cast list.
What is Scoop about?
Scoop is based on author Sam McAlister’s upcoming book, Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews, where he delves into how Prince Andrew’s interview came about, and how he actually agreed to doing it.
The film is likely to also cover off some of the things the Duke said in the interview, including his flat out denial that he had sex with one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre.
At one point, the interviewer Emily Maitlis told Prince Andrew with Giuffre’s accusations were “very specific”, including her description of how the prince was “profusely sweating”. Prince Andrew answered her by claiming that he had a medical condition which meant it was impossible for him to sweat.
“I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenalin in the Falklands War when I was shot at and I simply… it was almost impossible for me to sweat,” he explained.
When the interview aired, it was reported that the Prince had walked away from his chat with Maitlis believing that it had gone well. But it was quickly torn to shreds by tabloids and royal commentators who said his unprecedented statements had done a lot more harm than good for his case.
Giuffre was set to take Prince Andrew to court over the alleged sexual assault, however in March 2022, they came to a settlement. According to court documents, the Duke paid a sum to his accuser and formally ended the civil case brought against him.
Who will be cast in Scoop?
The official cast is yet to be confirmed, though Deadline reports that Hugh Grant has been tapped to play Prince Andrew. The iconic British actor, best known for his roles in rom-coms including Bridget Jones’ Diary, Love Actually and Notting Hill, was most recently seen in HBO’s The Undoing. He also appeared in A Very English Scandal and, in his proudest work (his words, not ours), Paddington 2.
Confirmation on other cast (as well as producers and a director) is still to come. We’ll update this article with any news on that front.
When will Scoop be released?
Pre-production and filming is rumoured to take place towards the end of 2022, so with this in mind, we can expect a late 2023 or 2024 release date.