Michael Sheen is writing and directing The Green River Killer, based on the true story…
Michael Sheen will make his feature directorial debut and star in the upcoming true crime thriller Green River Killer, about the most prolific American serial killer in history, based on confirmed murders. The star of Masters of Sex also wrote the screenplay, based on Dark Horse Entertainment’s graphic novel Green River Killer: A True Detective Story, which in turn was written by the lead investigator’s son Jeff Jensen, and illustrated by artist Jonathan Case.
The Green River Killer, Gary Leon Ridgway, strangled at least 49 women in Washington State during the 1980s and 1990s. Ridgeway got his nickname after the first five victims were found in the Green River. Detective Tom Jensen worked the case from 1984 to 2001, first as part of a task force and then as the only full-time investigator.
Using DNA technology, Jensen put together enough evidence to have commercial truck painter Ridgway arrested in December 2001. The Green River Killer confessed that they only knew about half of his victims. He negotiated a plea bargain that let him disclose the locations of still-missing women in exchange for getting a sentence of life imprisonment without parole instead of the death penalty.
The Green River Killer will focus on police detective Tom Jensen, who spent 180 days interviewing Gary Leon Ridgway.
“This is a dark story but one that ultimately finds hope and meaning in that darkness,” Sheen said in a statement. “The story of Tom and Gary and how they are bound together in time pulled me in from the beginning and wouldn’t let go. I hope that by now bringing it to life on screen it can make audiences feel the same way.”
“Michael has written an elegant script which brings his sophisticated vision to subverting the typical serial killer movie,” Sean McKittrick and Ray Mansfield of QC Entertainment (that is backing the film) added. “Jensen and Ridgway are terrific roles for both an actor of Michael’s calibre and the actor cast opposite him. As producers who have long championed actors making the move to directing, we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”
The Green River Killer will be produced by Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg, Sheen, Sean McKittrick and Ray Mansfield. It will be executive produced by QC Entertainment’s Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Shaun Redick.