Stillwater Director Tom McCarthy attempts to persuade viewers of the film once again that it is in no way a story about Amanda Knox and her run-in with the Italian judicial system. McCarthy responded to Knox's critique of the Matt Damon-led film, telling Variety, "It does take from aspects of true-life events, like many films, but Stillwater is about Bill Baker's journey, his relationship with his estranged daughter Allison and a French woman and her young daughter he meets along the way."
Knox recently called out McCarthy and the film in a series of tweets, saying that it's not fair to her that the film industry can "profit off my name, face, & story without my consent," while continuing to further damage her reputation that was cleared when she was found not guilty and freed. He continued, adding that he understands where Knox is coming from and recognizing that the movie could seem traumatic given the similarities between the two stories. "I deeply empathize with Amanda and what she went through. She was rightfully found innocent and acquitted in the Meredith Kercher case. She has platforms to speak her truth and engage with the media and she is exercising her absolute right to do so," McCarthy said.
Does my name belong to me? My face? What about my life? My story? Why does my name refer to events I had no hand in? I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face, & story without my consent. Most recently, the film #STILLWATER.
/ a thread— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) July 29, 2021
He also touched on how the figure also admittedly still hasn't seen the film yet. "What she seems to be raising feels very removed from the film we actually made," he said. "Years ago, I made a film about real-life events called Spotlight, and, in that instance, we thoroughly researched and worked closely with the real-life subjects and used real names and events within the film," he stated. "That was not the case with Stillwater, since it is a work of fiction."
It's no secret that McCarthy was enamored with Knox's story, which started as a typical college girl whose plan to study abroad takes a turn for the worse after she's arrested for murder before she is acquitted of those crimes. "There were just so many layers to that story that kept anyone who was following pretty riveted," he told Vanity Fair at one point. However, he claims he and his team say they set out to make a completely separate story, throwing out the Meredith Kercher case, when they began working on Stillwater.