The life and subsequent death of actress Brittany Murphy will be the subject of a new Documentary series coming to HBO Max. Murphy, died in 2009 at the age of 32 after fighting pneumonia. Her husband, Simon Monjack, would pass five months later. He also succumbed to pneumonia. Both deaths brought into question the drugs they were given at the time of illness.
The documentary is set to be shown in two parts, and it will delve into what many would describe as the actresses “mysterious” death. However, the series looks to be angling more in the direction of celebrating Brittany’s life. Cynthia Hill, the documentary’s director states, “I agreed to do this film because I think it’s a shame that Brittany’s promising life and career has been eclipsed by the circumstances of her death. I think it’s important to celebrate Brittany’s talent as we struggle to explain the tragic circumstances of her and Simon’s deaths.”
Murphy’s career began in her teens, with roles in popular TV shows of the early 90s. After appearances on such tent poles as Murphy Brown and Blossom, as well as starring roles in the short lived Dabney Coleman vehicle, Drexell’s Class she started moving into the world of film. Many people will remember Brittany as the awkward and shy Tai, in Clueless; Amy Heckerling’s cult classic modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma. She’d then go on to play prominent roles in critically acclaimed works, with prominent roles in Girl, Interrupted and 8 Mile. Murphy also provided the voice of Luanne–and other assorted characters–in the Mike Judge animated series, King of the Hill.
The docu-series, which is being produced by Blumhouse Television and Pyramid Productions looks to be aiming toward a different direction than most current in depth documentaries seems to be going for. Still untitled, the series is looking to avoid the tabloid sensationalism that tends to come along with such stories. Jennifer O’Connell, the executive VP of non-fiction programing for HBO Max went on the record saying, “Our Brittany Murphy documentary cuts through the tabloid noise with an elevated, nuanced depiction of a sensational story.” A press release also stated the film will include new interviews with those closest to Brittany, and new archival footage.
O’Connell continued, “Crafting a grounded account of Brittany Murphy’s life struggles and sudden passing comes with great responsibility and we’ve partnered with a masterful creative team to produce a thoughtful examination of a tragedy that has long been cause for speculation.”