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A trailer for the upcoming Lifetime film Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer has been released, and it seems neither the Steenkamps nor the Pistorius family were aware of its existence.
The film will ostensibly tell of the events leading up to the fateful shooting on Valentine’s Day 2013, when Paralympic athlete Pistorius killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. It will also cover the subsequent trials — though whether the film ends at the first conviction of manslaughter or the second of murder remains yet to be seen.
The Steenkamp family has issued a statement that they are “horrified” the filmmakers said it would tell the side of Reeva and her mother June, despite consulting no one in the family.
“Any impression that is created that this is June’s view, or that the movie is endorsed by the Steenkamp family, is untrue and incorrect,” they said in a statement according to TimesLIVE.
Carl Pistorius — Oscar’s brother — has issued a statement that the family would be taking legal action.
— Carl Pistorius (@carlpistorius) October 3, 2017
“The film is a gross misrepresentation of the truth,” he wrote. “We will be taking legal action.”
This legal action will likely not provide the results the Pistorius clan want: it is entirely legal to create unauthorised biopics.
Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer will be produced by Lifetime
The family may be able to find grounds to sue in regards to defamation, but winning that case in a country like the US — where free speech is heavily protected — will prove difficult.
Of course, legality and ethics don’t often go hand-in-hand, and many South Africans are outraged that an American studio could produce a film like this (with an American writer and director to boot) without consulting even the Steenkamps, who have arguably suffered the most through this ordeal.
The Blade Runner Killer is really a bad idea and in bad taste. American movie writers really got it wrong on this one…
— Kokwele M. Phillix (@Matome_Phillix) October 3, 2017
Mxm let America keep this trash “Blade Runner killer” we don’t want this trash mo Mzansi sies maan how does it even premiere ko us b4 us pic.twitter.com/qLGYZs1jCJ
— Jonas Chuene (@MJ_Chuene) October 2, 2017
Blade runner killer
Terrible movie tittle ✔
Terrible acting ✔
Terrible directing ✔
— Marichen Steyn (@MarichenSteyn) October 2, 2017
If you have any self respect you will not entertain Blade Runner Killer
— we wont forget (@L_Moabelo) October 2, 2017
Though there were some who saw no issue with grabbing at an opportunity.
There’s no need to get angry at American movie writers for seeing an opportunity & grabbing it. SA writers are sleeping. Blade Runner Killer
— Mondly Shezi (@_Mondly) October 2, 2017
Blade Runner Killer is set to premiere in the US on November 11.