You can thank Truman Capote's book for inspiring generations of true crime stories, whether on radio, television, or in literature. But now, recent success of true crime serializations, such as NPR's podcast Serial and the HBO series The Jinx, have brought the original back into the spotlight. The Weinstein Company bought the rights to an In Cold Blood TV series, which is hopes to build into a limited-run television event.
Harvey Weinstein spoke about Capote's story's timeless appeal in a statement with Deadline:
Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood has been riveting audiences since it first hit the literary scene almost 50 years ago, and it continues to have that same thrilling, timeless appeal today. We are extremely excited to be partnering with Gary, Doug and the whole Flying Studios team to bring what’s sure to be an unbelievable series to TV viewers.
The "Gary" and "Doug" Weinstein refers to are Gary Oldman (aka Commissioner Gordon and Sirius Black) and Douglas Urbanski, who head up Flying Studios, the team behind another somewhat bleak book adaptation, Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy. Screenwriter Kevin Hood, who penned Becoming Jane , rounds out the team behind the project.
In Cold Blood has never been a serialized TV show, but it has been the subject (at least in part) of three movies: The Phillip Seymour Hoffman-starring Capote (RIP) in 2006; Infamous, which was also released in 2006; and the In Cold Blood TV movie, starring Robert Blake and Scott Wilson.
Capote's true crime story follows the murders of a farming family in Kansas in 1959: Herbert Clutter, his wife, and two of his four children. Capote traveled to Kansas with fellow author, To Kill a Mockingbird's Harper Lee, to conduct in-depth interviews of everyone involved with the crime, including Richard "Dick" Hickock and Perry Smith, who were convicted of the murders. Capote has said that the book took six years to write.
Maybe True Detective is right that time is a flat circle, because now, this nearly 50-year-old book fits so snugly within the modern true crime zeitgeist. If this TV event series comes to fruition, it's going to kill.