A big-budget drama starring the Wagatha Christie case is set to join the documentaries already in production as the race heats up to bring the bitter details of the Supreme Court fight that ended Friday to the small screen.
The row between two high-profile footballer wives, which ended last week when the judge ruled in favor of Coleen Rooney, is set to be adapted into a TV series by one of Britain’s leading screenwriters. Debbie Horsfield who conformed Poldark is set to write a drama for the 2015-19 BBC series that will follow the infamous public row between Rebekah Vardy, wife of leading Leicester goalscorer Jamie Vardy, and Coleen Rooney, wife of Wayne, the famous former England player and until last month the manager of Derby County.
The defamation lawsuit famously centered on a trap set by her former girlfriend Rooney, who suspected stories about her personal life and family were being sold to the tabloids. Restricted access to a private Instagram account that Vardy followed appeared to lead directly to items being worn by the person Sun Newspaper. Vardy, 40, claimed she was publicly falsely identified as the perpetrator and is suing Rooney for defamation.
High Court Judge Karen Steyn ruled on Friday that Rooney’s allegation was “essentially true”. Now the makers of A very English scandala drama about the Jeremy Thorpe case, starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw, and the more recent A very British scandalwith Paul Bettany and Claire Foy as the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, have confirmed this observer that they will take on this high profile modern day scandal.
Like the earlier racy arguments fictionalized by production company Blueprint Pictures, Vardy and Rooney’s spat became a major event, distracting many during a tumultuous summer and sparking a moral debate about the rights and wrongs of a revealing libel lawsuit.
Horsfield, who wrote BBC1’s hair salon saga in 2018 Age before beautyShe is working alongside her former on the new TV drama for Blueprint Pictures Poldark Producer Karen Thrussell. Likely key points in the plot will be the hatching of Rooney’s “scousetrap” scheme to trick Vardy into revealing himself via Instagram, and the loss at sea of a potentially incriminating cellphone that Vardy’s agent Caroline Watt received during a voyage around the Coast of Scotland belongs. Watt has not testified in the High Court as she was judged by a forensic psychologist to be in an unsuitable mental state.
Rooney, 36, is reportedly directing a documentary about her own attempts at becoming a detective. She is said to have worked with Lorton Entertainment, who also shot the football documentary Rooney, in a program about the lawsuit, destined for an unknown broadcasting platform. Netflix is believed to be planning to show a fly-on-the-wall documentary from Dorothy St Pictures, the filmmakers behind a recent Pamela Anderson documentary, which had cameras on Rooney during her court trial this spring.
In addition, Channel 4 is working on a reconstruction of the key court scenes filmed by production company Chalkboard using the real court transcripts. Actors will play the roles of the main antagonists and their husbands.
Tom Popay, Creative Director at Chalkboard, was quoted as justifying the project: “The #WagathaChristie phenomenon has become one of the most talked about moments in social media history. The ensuing court case captivated the entire nation, but very few people actually saw what happened in the courtroom.”
The BBC will also air a documentary by Curious Films telling both sides of Rooney’s attempts on Instagram. Reportedly as filming begins, it is an investigation into the social media warfare being waged by supporters of each faction and will feature testimony from “the Vardy camp” – possibly including Vardy himself.
And yet another production company, Optomen Television, is working on a documentary about the explosive case, although none of the women are said to be involved in the research for the show.
As well as offering human conflict and high emotion, the Wagatha narrative is a snapshot of British celebrity culture. Several moments in the court case highlighted the generational and educational gaps in wider British society. Rebekah Vardy was unfamiliar with the phrase “Davy Jones’ Locker,” while her attorney seemed unsure how Instagram works.
Blueprint Pictures behind Horsfield’s screenplay is run by television executives Peter Czernin and Graham Broadbent, who met at Bristol University. Together they made the acclaimed and popular films In Bruges, The best exotic Marigold hotel and Three billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri, alongside their TV hits, which earned them both Oscars and Baftas. They formed Blueprint Pictures in 2005 and will be releasing them shortly The beautiful gamewritten by Frank Cottrell Boyce and directed by Thea Sharrock, as well The Banshees by Inisherinthe latest film by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh.