Earlier this year, Jordan Peel won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his critically acclaimed film Get Out. Now, Jordan Peele just may have another culturally relevant masterpiece under his belt. According to Deadline on Thursday, April 5, Peele is producing a Lorena Bobbitt series, and honestly, the news couldn't have come at a better time.
Peele will be partnering with Amazon Studios to executive produce Lorena, a four-part series highlighting a new perspective on the infamous 1993 criminal case of spouses Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt. Lost for Life filmmaker Joshua Rofé will direct the recently greenlit project. Lorena will be executive produced by Peele's production company Monkeypaw, Jenna Santoianni and Tom Lesinski for Sonar Entertainment, and Rofé and Steven J. Berger for Number 19, according to Deadline.
A premiere date for Lorena has yet to be announced, but so far it's being reported via Deadline with the following description: "Lost in the tabloid coverage and jokes was the opportunity for a national discussion on domestic and sexual assault in America.” When talking about the significance of the Lorena Bobbitt story, right on the cusp of the case's 25th anniversary, Peele said:
"When we hear the name 'Bobbitt' we think of one of the most sensational incidents to ever be catapulted into a full blown media spectacle. With this project, Lorena has a platform to tell her truth as well as engage in a critical conversation about gender dynamics, abuse, and her demand for justice. This is Lorena’s story and we’re honored to help her tell it."
In 1994, Bobbitt was found not guilty by reason of insanity on the charge of severing the penis of her then-husband John Wayne Bobbitt, according to the New York Daily News. Lorena Bobbitt alleged she had experienced four years of marital rape, as well as mental and physical abused, according to the newspaper. John Wayne Bobbitt was found not guilty on charges of marital sexual assault in 1993, as reported by the New York Times.
News of the incident, as well as the 1994-1995 trial, took the media by storm. Many engaged in serious debates about the case and it "laid the groundwork for the modern 24-hour news cycle" — per Amazon Prime's press release. Since the case was reported back in 1993, the Bobbitt's story has been reproduced a few times, and twice as television documentaries, '97s The Trial of Lorena Bobbitt, and '06s Chopped Off: The Man Who Lost His Penis. And when it came to being inserted into pop-culture, many artists referenced the infamous ex-couple in hit songs and even punchlines in comedy.
Drawing eyes back to the Bobbitt story is most certainly fitting to today, especially with heightened focus on how the current culture handles sexual assault and misconduct allegations, and the Lorena team couldn't agree more. The series' director Rofé told Deadline that the team's hope for the project is "to give viewers pause when the next scandal of the moment is presented to us as macabre entertainment."
"Often, there’s profound pain and trauma just beneath the surface of stories like Lorena’s,” Rofé continued to Deadline. And stories such as this deserve to be at the center of serious conversations surrounding physical and sexual abuse, and not the subject of tabloid spectacles and pop-culture references.
With the success of Get Out under his belt, as well as the profound contribution to the ongoing conversations about racial bias and injustices in this country, it's no secret that Peele is the right man to help bring this crucial case back to life. And once released, Prime members will be the first to see his take on the infamous story.