What if finding out the truth got you killed?
Duplass Brothers Productions backs the looks-to-be-chilling Netflix docuseries “American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders,” which reexamines the death of West Virginian journalist Danny Casolaro. From the producers of “Wild Wild Country,” the series uncovers the organization known as the “octopus,” comprised of former government officials whose “tentacles” reach every part of the U.S. That was thanks to the software program Promis, which was used by the CIA.
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The official synopsis for the four-part docuseries reads: “When journalist Danny Casolaro was found dead in a hotel bathtub, police ruled it a suicide. But his family and colleagues believe he may have been murdered for investigating a conspiracy he called ‘The Octopus,’ a hidden organization connected to stolen government spy software, a string of unsolved murders, and some of the biggest political scandals of the 20th century. Years later, researcher Christian Hansen pushes to uncover the secrets behind Casolaro’s death, and the story that killed him.”
The Netflix series is directed and executive produced by Zachary Treitz, with Mark and Jay Duplass executive producing along with Mel Eslyn, Chapman Way, Maclain Way, Juliana Lembi, and Christian Hansen.
In addition to “The Octopus Murders,” the Duplass Brothers’ production banner is behind indie series “Penelope,” currently seeking distribution. The show debuted at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, and follows titular teen Penelope (Megan Stott), who feels more connected with nature than she does her own family. Austin Abrams co-stars.
Mark Duplass and producing partner Mel Eslyn co-created and co-wrote the series, with Eslyn serving as showrunner. Jay Duplass executive produced.
Mark Duplass previously said at Sundance 2021 that niche projects are finding the right homes at various streamers. To note, the Duplass Brothers had a four-picture deal with Netflix at the time.
“I think what distributors are finding right now is that it actually doesn’t matter if it’s a massive group of people that are watching what you’re doing. They have to be extremely passionate,” Duplass said. “So a tiny portion of the pie who truly wants this stuff is enough — and that’s basically the only reason I’m still in business.”
“American Conspiracy: The Octopus Murders” premieres February 28 on Netflix. Check out the trailer below.
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