The producers of Hayden Panettiere's upcoming TV movie about Amanda Knox have defended their handling of the controversial subject matter, insisting the film was made "responsibly" and won't have an impact on real-life legal proceedings.
The "Heroes" star plays the American college student in Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy, which is based on the 21 year old's sensational Italian murder trial over the brutal killing of her roommate, Meredith Kercher.
Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison for the murder in 2007 and she's currently appealing her conviction. Lawyers for Knox were not happy with plans to turn the story into a movie before the appeal had been concluded and refused to let Panettiere meet the jailed student.
The movie was filmed in Italy last year, but executive producer Trevor Walton is adamant the picture won't have impact the ongoing legal proceedings.
He says, "Our story tells factually what happened up to the point of her arrest. We feel we've done this very responsibly and should have no effect on any ongoing trial. We didn't want to be biased in any way. We wanted to tell a drama."
And Panettiere insists that even after filming the movie, she doesn't have an opinion on whether Knox is guilty or innocent of the crime. She adds, "It's one of those really riveting stories where you just don't know. I can't say I have an opinion. That's why the story is so interesting. I don't know that we'll ever really know… This wasn't a dark, angry girl. She was a young girl with dreams and aspirations. I don't think guilty or innocent takes away from that."
"Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy" airs on Lifetime on February 21.
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