Brittany Murphy, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 32, was the center of attention on Saturday night when Lifetime’s new movie, “The Brittany Murphy Story,” premiered. The TV film became a controversial topic for fans who feared that the starlet’s image was being tainted by rumors of murder and lies. While “The Brittany Murphy Story” did take an interesting approach to exploring her rise to fame and personal life with Simon Monjack, fans will be surprised to discover that Lifetime isn’t the only one giving life to the deceased actress -- she also has a film coming out on Sept. 12.
“Something Wicked” is a thriller/horror flick starring Shantel VanSanten (“One Tree Hill”), John Robinson (“Lords of Dogtown”), Julian Morris (“Once Upon a Time”) and Murphy. According to IMDB, the movie is about a young couple confronted by “gruesome secrets from their past” while planning their wedding. “Sinister forces of the present” aim to make sure that the couple’s fairytale ending gets put in jeopardy.
Fans of Brittany Murphy remember her for her comedic and romantic roles like “Clueless,” “Just Married” and “Uptown Girls,” so the deceased starlet’s role in a horror movie may come as a surprise to some. However, the Lifetime story may have briefly addressed the actress’ connection to the movie.
“The Brittany Murphy Story” reveals that the actress was struggling to obtain roles in Hollywood after tabloids and gossip site’s damaged her reputation. Dropped by her agent, Murphy has a difficult time getting work and a new agency … until Simon Monjack came along. A former paparazzi member turned executive producer and writer, Monjack develops a romantic relationship with Brittany Murphy and takes control of her career.
While Brittany Murphy’s mother, Sharon, questions Monjack’s intentions for her “vulnerable” and “fragile” daughter, he insists that he loves her and wants to help her career. One of his attempts in re-launching her career is getting her a role in a horror film. Murphy (played by Amanda Fuller) tells Monjack (Eric Petersen) that she doesn't want to do horror and that it “creep”-ed her out. Monjack replies that she had to start somewhere and needed to trust him.
It’s unclear if the Lifetime movie was referring to “Something Wicked,” because Murphy also starred in a 2009 horror flick called “Deadline.” The actress played a writer named Alice who suffered from a psychological breakdown. Alice sought refuge in a remote Victorian home in order to focus on the impending deadline for a screenplay. But “mysterious noises and strange happenings” lead the writer to discover a terrifying secret about her dark past.
“The Brittany Murphy Story” definitely did explore Brittany Murphy and Simon Monjack’s involvement with another horror movie -- a low budget flick called “The Caller.” In 2009, Monjack allegedly brought Murphy the script for a small budget thriller filming in Puerto Rico. He pitched that they’d make a vacation out of it, and that he’d be on hand to do her hair and makeup for the film. In the Lifetime movie, Murphy tells Monjack, her then-husband, that she just wans to work and doesn’t even need to read the script.
Monjack believed that this movie would reboot his wife’s feature career – and turned down a role for her to star in a TV pilot that Murphy’s ex-boyfriend, Ashton Kutcher, was producing. Unfortunately “The Caller” didn’t turn out to be the re-launch for her career that they were hoping for.
The Lifetime movie’s side of the story reveals that the actress fell asleep on the set, forgot her lines and was not happy that the “thriller” turned out to be a horror film. Monjack sought to get his wife mandated breaks during filming, but the director didn’t care for his request. “The Caller” director accused Simon Monjack of being drunk, and kicked him off of the set the following day. When Brittany Murphy stood by her husband’s side, the director fired her.
“We’re making a film,” the Lifetime movie reenacts. “Nobody’s going to put up with her drama.”
Murphy was let go from the film a couple weeks prior to her death. Rumors quickly spread about the drama, leading “Saturday Night Live” to do a skit to mock her departure from the film.
Brittany Murphy died on Dec. 20, 2009, from anemia, pneumonia and “combined drug intoxication.” Her final film, “Something Wicked,” will hit theaters in Los Angeles and Las Vegas on Friday, Sept. 12. Watch the “Something Wicked” movie trailer below:
Will you watch “Something Wicked”? Tweet your thoughts to @AmandaTVScoop.