EXCLUSIVE: Yeardley Smith’s Paperclip Ltd seeks to transform Tom Wood’s forensic science bestseller Ruxton: The First Modern Murder into an unscripted podcast and a limited scripted series.
The company, which Smith, better known as the voice of Lisa Simpson, set up with Ben Cornwell, has opted for the rights to Wood’s book, which was shortlisted for the Saltire Society of Scotland’s 2022 National Book Awards.
While television adaptations of the book are a well-trodden path, adding an unscripted podcast into the mix is an unusual step, but comes as Hollywood ramps up its interest in the audio medium.
The move comes as Paperclip Ltd’s flagship true crime podcast Small town dickswhich was launched in 2017, had 1 million downloads per month.
Ruxton: The First Modern Murder describes the 1935 disappearance of a glamorous young woman and her devoted maid, whose death would lead to one of the most complex investigations the world has ever seen. The gruesome murders made headlines around the world at the time, and behind the scenes scientific history was being made thanks to the groundbreaking work of Scottish forensic scientists who developed new techniques that would change the course of the work of global detective for the next century.
Smith and Cornwell will produce the podcast with Wood and also develop the limited-edition book.
Paperclip Ltd is behind films such as the thriller directed by John Hyams Alone, Pleats of gauze with Alexandra Gray and Jackson Robert Scott and Mike Fleiss’ upcoming horror film Possessions.
“Tom is a master storyteller,” said Yeardley Smith. “With Ruxton he skillfully made the history of modern forensics read like a real thriller. I can’t wait for the public to hear the podcast.
“I am delighted to be working with Yeardley, Ben and the team at Paperclip Ltd in the development of Ruxtonadded Wood. “It’s an important story that I had the privilege of telling. It deserves the widest audience, and a podcast with the team that brought the world Small town dicks is an excellent starting point.
Paperclip Ltd is represented by CAA.