Keira Knightley to Investigate the ‘Boston Strangler’ in Ridley Scott-Produced Film

Image credit: Nick Wall / Universal Pictures International

Keira Knightley has signed up to star in a true-story drama titled Boston Strangler.

The film is to be both written and directed by Matt Ruskin, who previously directed 2017 LaKeith Stanfield-starring drama Crown Heights and indie Booster. Filmmaker Ridley Scott and Kevin Walsh are on board to produce via their Scott Free banner, with Tom Ackerley and Josey McNamara producing via LuckyChap Entertainment.

The plot, as first reported by Deadline, will find Knightley playing investigative reporter Loretta McLaughlin. Working for Record American during the 1960s, McLaughlin was the first reporter to connect the murders and then break the story of the killer, who she and fellow reporter Jean Cole dubbed “the Boston Strangler” in a four-part story they wrote. While challenging the sexism of the period, McLaughlin and Cole worked hard and put themselves at great risk to report on the serial killer and uncover corruption that would cast doubt on his identity.

The Boston Strangler was found to be one Albert Henry DeSalvo, who purportedly confessed to murdering thirteen women in the Boston area from 1962 to 1964. Although he was sentenced to life in prison, there have long been doubts surrounding DeSalvo’s confession, with some debating that there may have been a number of culprits behind the murders.

In writing the screenplay for Boston Strangler, Ruskin reportedly researched both McLaughlin and Cole’s actual findings from the early ’60s and met with both of their families. McLaughlin passed away in 2018 at the age of 90 and Cole passed in 2015 at age 89.

Cameras on Boston Strangler will begin rolling in Boston this December.

Knightley’s most recent credits include dark comedy Silent Night (heading for a US release in December), 2020 comedy-drama Misbehaviour, and 2019 post-WWII drama The Aftermath.

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