ITV orders Stephen Lawrence drama following fight for justice
James R | On 14, Jul 2020
ITV has ordered a new drama about the fight for justice following the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
A three-part sequel to the groundbreaking single drama, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, the series will simple be called “Stephen”. Produced by Hat Trick Mercurio and commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, the drama will portray events from 2006, 13 years after Stephen’s death on the evening of 22 April 1993 in a racially motivated attack while waiting for a bus in Well Hall Road, Eltham.
Even though the Lawrences knew the identity of their son’s killers, the original investigation had failed to convict those responsible, and their extraordinary campaign for justice led to a public inquiry which branded Metropolitan Police institutionally racist and brought about sweeping changes in the law and police practices and transformed thinking and understanding of racial inequality in the UK. Yet six years on from the Inquiry no progress had been made into the case. The drama tells the story of the ongoing struggle by Doreen and Neville Lawrence to achieve justice and how a detective, DCI Clive Driscoll – working closely with the Lawrences – puts together an investigation that finally – more than 18 years after his death – secures the convictions of two of the gang who committed the murder of Stephen.
The serial will be directed by Alrick Riley (The Cops, NCIS and Hustle) and produced by Madonna Baptiste (The Stranger, Black Mirror, Silent Witness) and is written by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Hilary and Jackie, Millions, 24-Hour Party People) and Joe Cottrell Boyce (Treasure).
The drama will be executive produced by Mark Redhead (Bloody Sunday, God on Trial, The Secret), who produced the original drama in 1999. Paul Greengrass, who wrote and directed The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, will also serve as an Executive Producer. Jimmy Mulville and Jed Mercurio are also executive producers.
The sequel is being produced the full support of Doreen and Neville Lawrence.
Baroness Doreen Lawrence commented: “I am pleased that The Murder of Stephen Lawrence is being broadcast again. Though the events portrayed in the film took place many years ago they are even more relevant today. 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: “I welcome the announcement of this new TV series by ITV, made with members of the same team who wrote and produced the 1999 original drama. That first film was important in telling Stephen’s story. 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.”
Casting will be announced closer to filming commencing.