Scoop, the memoir by former Newsnight producer Sam McAllister, is being turned into a movie by Netflix. The film will cover the events leading up to Emily Maitlis’ 2019 interview with Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace.
The film is set to star Gillian Anderson (The Crown) as Maitlis, with Rufus Sewell (Kaleidoscope) as Prince Andrew and Billie Piper (I Hate Suzie) as McAllister.
Here’s everything you need to know about Scoop ahead of its eventual release on Netflix.
What is it about?
Scoop charts the events leading up to Emily Maitlis’ 2019 interview with Prince Andrew, focusing primarily on how the interview was arranged and how the Newsnight team prepared for it (rather than the interview itself or its fallout).
The film was announced back in July 2022, and at the time was met with speculation that Hugh Grant might portray Prince Andrew.
Is it based on a book?
Yes, it is. Scoop (singular) is based on the book Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews, which was published in July 2022 (shortly before news of this film adaptation was announced).
The book Scoops was written by Sam McAllister, the former Newsnight producer who arranged the interview with Prince Andrew, and explains how a number of high-profile news interviews were organised – not just with Andrew, but also people like Steven Seagal, Stormy Daniels, and Julian Assange amongst others.
Who stars in Scoop?
Gillian Anderson plays Emily Maitlis, the BBC journalist who interviewed Prince Andrew for Newsnight. Anderson is best known for playing Dana Scully in The X Files, though you’ll also recognise her from performances in The Crown, Sex Education, and The Fall.
Rufus Sewell plays Prince Andrew, the royal heir being questioned over his association with Jeffrey Epstein. You might recognise Sewell from roles in television series like The Man in the High Castle and The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, or from films like The Father and Old. He recently starred in Netflix’s non-linear heist drama Kaleidoscope.
Billie Piper plays Sam McAllister, the Newnight producer key to arranging the interview. Piper is best known for playing Rose Tyler in Doctor Who, Belle De Jour in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and Sally Lockhart in The Ruby in the Smoke; you might also recognise her from things like Collateral, Rare Beasts, I Hate Suzie, and the Honey to the Bee music video.
Keeley Hawes plays Amanda Thirsk, former private secretary to Prince Andrew. Hawes is best known for starring in shows like Spooks, Line of Duty, Ashes to Ashes, and Bodyguard. In 2022, you might’ve seen her in Crossfire or The Midwich Cuckoos; she can next be seen in the upcoming Orphan Black spinoff.
They’re joined by Romola Garai (The Hour, Miss Marx) as Newsnight editor Esme Wren, Lia Williams (The Capture, The Crown) as Director, News & Current Affairs for the BBC Fran Unsworth, Amanda Redman (New Tricks, The Good Karma Hospital) as Sam McAllister’s mother Netta, Connor Swindells (Sex Education, SAS: Rogue Heroes) as photographer Jae Donnelly, and Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall, Doctor Who) as Princess Beatrice amongst others.
Who writes and directs?
Scoop has been adapted from McAllister’s book by Peter Moffat, a screenwriter who has previously worked on the crime dramas Your Honour and 61st Street. Moffat (no relation to Sherlock writer Steven) also wrote the screenplay for the 2004 biopic Hawking, which starred Benedict Cumberbathc as the famous physicist.
Philip Martin – who previously directed a number of episodes of The Crown Series 4 – will direct Scoop.
Is there a trailer for Scoop?
Not quite yet, no – but as soon as Netflix makes one available we’ll update this piece to include it.
When and how can I watch it?
Scoop will be available to watch on Netflix, likely but not necessarily later this year – the film is yet to start shooting and doesn’t have an official release date so far.
Are there any other films/television shows about the Prince Andrew interview?
Yes, there are. You might remember Channel 4’s ill-advised-at-best Prince Andrew: The Musical from the end of December, which starred Kieron Hodgson as Andrew and Emma Sidi as Emily Maitlis, and was a late contender for one of the worst pieces of television of 2022.
It’s also understood that Emily Maitlis is currently developing her own screen adaptation of the interview, though no cast are attached yet.
Why should I be looking forward to it?
It’ll be one to watch if you enjoy process stories about journalism – think something like Spotlight or The Post, but covering one of the most high-profile interviews in UK news of the past few decades.