In a new press release, Lifetime has given the public more details on their upcoming film, "The Gabby Petito Story". "The Gabby Petito Story", which is still the working title, will explore the true story of Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie’s complicated relationship and what may have gone wrong during their cross-country trip that resulted in Gabby’s tragic murder.
Skyler Samuels (Nine Lives of Chloe King, Scream Queens) as Gabby Petito and Evan Hall (Orange is the New Black, Mars) as Brian Laundrie. Skyler Samuels is best known for playing ‘Chloe King’ in ABC Family’s Nine Lives of ChloeKing, which garnered her a Teen Choice Award for Breakout Actress. Samuels followed that with a leading role in Ryan Murphy’s Fox series Scream Queens. Evan Hall was a recurring character on the critically acclaimed Orange is the New Black. He was also a series regular on the Nat Geo series Mars, produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment.
Golden Globe®, BAFTA® and Emmy®-nominated and SAG-winning actress Thora Birch (The Walking Dead, American Beauty, Ghost World) makes her directorial debut in this film and plays Gabby’s mom, Nichole Schmidt. The film marks Birch’s return to Lifetime, having starred in highly rated films, Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story in 2003 for which she earned an Emmy® nomination and The Pregnancy Pact in 2010. Yes, Birch is a decorated actress and director but, we still see her as the little sister from 1993's "Hocus Pocus".
The disappearance of Gabby Petito captured America’s attention, setting off a nationwide search for the 22-year-old travel blogger after her parents reported her missing in September 2021, when she failed to return home following her cross country “van-life” trip with her fiancé Brian Laundrie. Non-stop coverage on the news drove amateur sleuths to dissect Gabby’s social media posts for clues about what happened to her during her trip, leading to the eventual discovery of her body in Wyoming. As the one-year anniversary of her tragic death approaches, the movie will bring to life Gabby and Brian’s doomed love story, including the warning signs that Gabby’s life was in danger, the ensuing search for her, the eventual discovery of her murder and ultimately, Brian’s suicide.
The Gabby Petito Story is produced for Lifetime by Hybrid. The film is written by Gregory Small and Richard Blaney (Gone Mom, Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret).
With October marking the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Gabby Petito Story is set to premiere on Saturday, October 1 at 8/7c on Lifetime. The documentary special, Beyond the Headlines: Gabby Petito will air following the movie at 10/9c for a more in-depth look at the true story.