Distributor Mediawan Rights and production company Elsani & Neary Media have developed the fictional true-crime TV series "The Promise" based on the mysterious 1980s-era case of Jens Soering, Elizabeth Haysom and a chilling double murder. Elsani & Neary Media are collaborating with former prisoner Jens Soering and with Marcus Vetter, director of "Killing For Love", a true-crime documentary about the case. Bastie Griese, managing director of studio operator MMC Movies Köln (“The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain”) joins the production team as co-producer.
The Showrunners are producer Anita Elsani ("55 Steps") and writer/executive producer Ron Markus ("Bad Banks" and "Dogs Of Berlin"). "The story of Jens and Elizabeth is not only a crime thriller, but also a gripping love story about fateful dependence,” observes Elsani. “The case remains unsolved to this day, and the search for the truth continues.” Markus adds, “Jens and Liz's journey from college to prison connects two dots that seem unreachably far away. Their story almost tortures me, that’s how painful it is.”
Documentary filmmaker Vetter comments: “The story of Jens and Elizabeth has been with me for almost a decade. I'm delighted to be able to contribute my expertise as part of the creative team. A fictional series opens up a new narrative scope.”
"We are thrilled to partner with Elsani and Neary Media on this captivating and ambitious true crime project that will engage a global audience" Mediawan Rights MD, Valérie Vleeschhouwer comments.
"’The Promise’ begins in 1984 at the University of Virginia, USA. Jens, a highly gifted student from Germany, falls in love with fellow student Elizabeth Haysom, an attractive, experienced young woman from a privileged background. Their passionate campus love story turns into a nightmare when Elizabeth’s wealthy parents are murdered in an act of inexplicable violence.
Jens confesses to the murder, only to later recant. The young German’s murder trial — one of the first to be broadcast live on television — makes international headlines, and Jens serves nearly three decades in American prison. German former President Christian Wulff, best-selling author John Grisham and actor Martin Sheen are among the many who support his fight to prove his innocence.