Damon stars in Spotlight filmmaker McCarthy’s new film, Stillwater, which is partially inspired by what has been described by press as “the Amanda Knox saga”.
Knox, who was acquitted in the case of Meredith Kercher’s murder in 2007, has condemned the new film as well as McCarthy’s use of her name in interviews ahead of its release.
In a lengthy essay, which she also published as a Twitter thread on Thursday (29 July), Knox said that McCarthy’s actions perpetuate the idea that she was involved in Kercher’s death. Knox was wrongfully imprisoned for four years and Rudy Guede was convicted of killing the British student.
Knox also said that McCarthy or Damon did not attempt to speak to her at any time during the film’s production.
“Does my name belong to me?” she wrote. “My face? What about my life? My story? Why does my name refer to events I had no hand in? I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face & story without my consent. Most recently, the film #STILLWATER”
She added: “By fictionalising away my innocence, my total lack of involvement, by erasing the role of the authorities in my wrongful conviction, McCarthy reinforces an image of me as a guilty and untrustworthy person. And with Matt Damon’s star power, both are sure to profit handsomely off of this fictionalisation of ‘the Amanda Knox saga’ that is sure to leave plenty of viewers wondering, ‘Maybe the real-life Amanda was involved somehow.’”
Knox then shared a tongue-in-cheek “screenplay idea” to emphasise her frustrations with how her name has become associated with the film against her will.
“It’s directly inspired by the life of Matt Damon,” she wrote, adding: “He’s an actor, celebrity, etc. Except I’m going to fictionalise everything around it, and the Damon-like character in my film is involved in a murder. He didn’t plunge the knife per se, but he’s definitely at fault somehow. His name is Damien Matthews, and he starred in the Jackson Burne spy films.”
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Stillwater follows Damon’s character as he travels to France to help exonerate his daughter, who is in prison for a murder she claims she didn’t commit.
The Independent has contacted Focus Features as well as Damon and McCarthy for comment.
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