Meredith Kercher's family say 'Foxy Knoxy' film starring Hayden Panettiere is 'insulting'
The family of Meredith Kercher have attacked plans to make a film of her death starring the Heroes actress Hayden Panettiere as her killer, Amanda Knox.
The film, called The Amanda Knox Story, will focus on the American student dubbed "Foxy Knoxy" who was jailed for 26 years for Miss Kercher's murder in 2009.
Panettiere, who is best known for her role as the cheerleader in the TV series Heroes, has been cast in the lead role.
Miss Kercher’s mother Arline said it was insulting for the film to be named after her daughter’s killer.
"I don’t see how they can make a film called The Amanda Knox Story when the story is really all about my daughter. It’s all very odd," she told the Daily Mail.
A spokesman for the Knox family said they had no knowledge of the film, which is being aimed at a US audience.
It will focus on events leading up to Miss Kercher’s death in November 2007 and Knox's subsequent trial.
Miss Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found with her throat slashed at the flat she shared with Knox while studying in Perugia, Italy. Prosecutors claimed she had refused to take part in a sex game with Knox, her boyfriend and an accomplice.
Knox, 23, is serving a 26-year sentence after being convicted last year of the murder. Her 26-year-old ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede, a 23-year-old drifter, were also jailed for the killing.
Her arrest and trial attracted huge coverage by the US media amid claims she was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
Producers of the film, which is being made for TV, said the "Foxy Knoxy" story made compelling material because it featured an "all-American" girl at the centre of a sordid crime.
The script for the Lifetime channel in the US is being written by Wendy Battles, who has also written episodes of CSI New York and the crime show Law and Order.
Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox, Emily Blunt and Kristen Stewart have all previously been linked to the role of Knox.
The casting of Hayden Panettiere was announced in the Hollywood trade paper Variety. The 21-year-old is among the most sought-after young actresses in Hollywood.
The film is due for release next year.