Ryan Murphy, one of the most acclaimed television producers working today, is developing yet another series for Netflix. This time it’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, telling the story of the infamous serial killer in a gripping 10-part limited series, created by Murphy himself and his long-time collaborator Ian Brennan. Here’s what we know.
The script for Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story was written by Murphy along with Ian Brennan (Glee, Ratched, Scream Queens) and David McMillan (Lucifer, Sleepy Hollow). The two known directors of the limited series are Carl Franklin (House of Cards, Mindhunter) and Janet Mock (Pose, Hollywood) with Franklin directing at least the first episode. Both directors will executive produce the series along with Murphy and Brennan. Rashad Johnson of Color of Change, a racial justice project, also will serve as supervising producer.
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is only one of the many projects that Murphy is working on for Netflix as part of his big overall deal with the streamer.
Who was Jeffrey Dahmer and what is the plot of the Netflix series?
Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer, known as the Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster, was a notorious American serial killer and sex offender who murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys from 1978-1991, many of them persons of color and some underage. Most of the murders also involved necrophilia, cannibalism and the preservation of body parts. Although he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and a psychotic disorder, Dahmer was found to be legally sane at his trial. Convicted of 16 murders, he was beaten to death by another inmate in 1994, two years into his sentence. He was 34.
According to Deadline, Monster is expected to span the 60s, 70s, 80s and conclude with Dahmer’s arrest in 1991. It is also expected to have a more psychological approach than other adaptations of Dahmer’s story. Monster will focus more on how these murders were allowed to happen over so many years.
Here is the official logline for Netflix’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story:
Monster chronicles the story of one of America’s most notorious serial killers, largely told from the point of view of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims, and dives deeply into the police incompetence and apathy that allowed the Wisconsin native to go on a multiyear killing spree. The series dramatizes at least 10 instances where Dahmer was almost apprehended but ultimately let go. The series also is expected to touch on white privilege, as Dahmer, a cleancut, good-looking white guy, was repeatedly given a free pass by cops as well as by judges who were lenient when he had been charged with petty crimes.
Will the plot of Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story be faithful to the real-life events?
While the limited series is based on true documented events, we can’t expect a fully faithful retelling of everything as in almost all productions that are based on true stories, things get changed and shifted around for dramatic purposes. We can also expect a decent amount of new material to put the events in context, better flesh out the characters of the story, and fill in the gaps where needed.
Perhaps the most appropriate example for comparison here would be The Assassination of Gianni Versace, the second season of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story, where over nine episodes we are witnessing the story of Andrew Cunanan, the man who murdered Gianni Versace. We can see many perspectives as well as many of Cunanan’s other victims before he eventually killed Versace. As people noticed, Murphy kept up with most of the known facts about the case, while inventing his own scenes to put things in context and fill in the gaps.
That being said, Ryan Murphy’s series based on real events and people are always praised for their exceptional casting, especially the ability to find actors who not only look like their real-life counterparts but are also great performers.
Who is cast in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story?
It has been confirmed in March 2021 that Ryan Murphy’s longtime collaborator Evan Peters will play the titular role. Peters has appeared in many of Murphy’s seasons of American Horror Story and most recently has been seen as Quicksilver in WandaVision. Next to Peters, Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Richard Jenkins (The Shape Of Water, Berlin Station) and Penelope Ann Miller will play Lionel and Joyce Dahmer, Jeffrey’s parents.
The other series’ lead will be Niecy Nash, also one of the go-to actors for Ryan Murphy. Nash will play Glenda Cleveland, a neighbor of Dahmer’s who called police numerous times and even tried calling the FBI to alert them of Dahmer’s erratic behavior, to no avail. Besides them, the Monster will feature Shaun Brown and Colin Ford with Brown portraying Dahmer’s last intended victim, the one who managed to escape and call the police.
What is the production status on Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story?
Current production status: Pre-production (Last updated: 03/07/2021)
Netflix’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is currently set to enter production on March 23, 2021 in Los Angeles according to issue 1236 of Production Weekly.
When will Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story be released on Netflix?
Considering a March 2021 production start and a potentially normal filming period, we may see Netflix’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story by Spring 2022.