ITV commissions new drama, Manhunt, starring Martin Clunes

Philippa Braithwaite , Producer, Manhunt

ITV's Head of Drama Polly Hill has confirmed commission of new drama Manhunt, based upon the memoirs of former London Metropolitan police detective DCI Colin Sutton.

Acclaimed actor Martin Clunes will take the role of former DCI Sutton who determinedly and tenaciously pursued serial killer Levi Bellfield.

The new drama is written by Ed Whitmore (Silent Witness, Rillington Place, Strike Back) and produced by Buffalo Pictures. Manhunt is the real life story of how the murder of French National, Amelie Delagrange, on Twickenham Green in August 2004 was eventually linked to the murders of Marsha McDonnell in 2003 and the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler as she travelled home from school in 2002.

Walking home following a night out with friends, 22 years old Amelie was savagely attacked and struck several times on the back of the head with a hammer.

Although relatively experienced in murder investigation, DCI Sutton was assigned to the case by London's Metropolitan Police. Hard working and instinctive, Sutton dedicated himself to finding Amelie's killer. With very little evidence, his painstaking approach and the diligence of his fellow officers gradually led to breakthroughs in the case.

Not to be underestimated, Sutton never ruled out similarities to the murders of Marsha McDonnell and Milly Dowler in the same southwest corner of London despite superior officers refusing to make the connection.

Manhunt will be directed by Marc Evans (Trauma, Safe House, Hinterland) and produced by Philippa Braithwaite (Doc Martin, Arthur & George) and filming will begin in the London area in March 2018.  DRG will be handling international sales.

ITV’s Senior Drama Commissioner Victoria Fea is overseeing the production of Manhunt on behalf of ITV.

“ITV has a strong tradition of bringing these important true stories to screen, so we are proud to commission Manhunt from Buffalo Pictures. With the full co-operation of ex DCI Colin Sutton, Manhunt dramatises his fight to find Amelie's killer, Levi Bellfield. It is a powerful, compelling script from Ed Whitmore, which illustrates how a dedicated and resilient police officer was determined to leave no stone unturned. I am delighted that Martin Clunes is to play Colin Sutton, in what will be a powerful and unmissable performance.”

Polly Hill , ITVs Head of Drama