The controversial lives of newspaper mogul Robert Maxwell, who died 30 years ago under strange circumstances, and his daughter, Ghislaine Maxwell, will be in the spotlight in the coming months of several television projects. The production company Working Title is working on the adaptation of the recently published biography of businessman Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell, written by John Preston, author of other books adapted to series and films such as A Very English Scandal or The Excavation. And a documentary will tell the story of his daughter Ghislaine, arrested last summer for collaborating in the sex trafficking of minors with financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Preston’s book traces the life of the chairman and CEO of Maxwell Communications Corporation and owner and chairman of Mirror Group Newspapers, his rise, the scandals that surrounded him (he was linked to arms trafficking and was accused of being a spy for the service of Israeli intelligence Mosad), his career to overcome the also media magnate Rupert Murdoch and his mysterious death in 1991 during a vacation in Canarian waters (his body was found in the sea, several kilometers from Las Palmas) with his yacht. « Robert Maxwell is one of the most fascinating and complex figures of the 20th century and I believe that Working Title is the perfect people to turn his life into a series, » said the author of the biography, who was also a television critic for a decade. in the Sunday Telegraph.
The British channel Channel 4 is preparing the documentary Who is Ghislaine Maxwell ?, which will show how Epstein’s friend grew up under the mantle of Robert Maxwell, her life in London and New York and how she came to become, in words by producer Dorothy Byrne, in « perhaps the most controversial woman in America right now. » Byrne is one of those responsible for the documentary Leaving Neveland, about the accusations of child abuse to singer Michael Jackson. Ghislaine Maxwell, considered the Madame of Jeffrey Epstein for years (the mogul committed suicide in jail in 2019) is facing trial this year on charges of running a network of minors who were abused by Epstein and other leading figures in the business and recruiting young women.
The documentary on Maxwell’s daughter is not the only project in the works. Sony Pictures is preparing a fiction series about his life based on the Hunting Ghislaine podcast.