HBO Max is developing an untitled two-part limited series that will explore the life of the late actress Brittany Murphy (Clueless) who died suddenly in 2009 at the age of 32. The series aims to not only cover Murphy’s tragic and mysterious death but her volcanic rise to fame and career as well, via The Hollywood Reporter.
Murphy made her breakout performance as tomboy Tai Fraiser in the 1995 romantic comedy Clueless. She went on to star in several movies, best known for her work in Uptown Girls, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Girl Interrupted, and 8 Mile. She was also a successful voice actor, voicing Luanne Platter on Fox’s King of the Hill and Gloria in the animated film Happy Feet.
When Murphy died in 2009, it came as a shock to the public as she was so young and seemingly healthy. The late actress’s cause of death was ruled as pneumonia with various over-the-counter drugs and anemia listed as secondary factors. Eyebrows were further raised when her husband Simon Monjack died from a combination of pneumonia and anemia in their Hollywood Hill home a year later. All these mysterious circumstances led to several conspiracy theories that people remain to obsess over and discuss to this day.
The upcoming series is a Blumhouse Television and Pyramid Production directed by Cynthia Hill (Private Violence). Featuring various interviews with friends of Murphy and previously unseen archival footage, it will attempt to paint a portrait of her life and untimely death. Hill released a statement picked up by The Hollywood Reporter on her decision to direct: “I agreed to do this film because I think it’s a shame that Brittany’s promising life and career has been eclipsed by the circumstances of her death. I think it’s important to celebrate Brittany’s talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon’s deaths.”
Jennifer O’Connel, the HBO Max evp of non-fiction and live-action family programming, released a statement picked by The Hollywood Reporter: “Our Brittany Murphy documentary cuts through the tabloid noise with an elevated, nuanced depiction of a sensational story. Crafting a grounded account of Brittany Murphy’s life struggles and sudden passing comes with great responsibility and we’ve partnered with a masterful creative team to produce a thoughtful examination of a tragedy that has long been cause for speculation.”
The series is executive produced by Mary Lisio (A Wilderness of Error), James Buddy Day (Manson: The Women), Jason Blum (The Jinx), Chris McCumber (The Thing About Pam), and Jeremy Gold (Sharp Objects).