A fight between two footballers’ wives, a high-profile libel case and one of the best puns in history: the Wagatha Christie saga was always destined for the small screen. The legal battle between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy has already been widely covered across newspapers, podcasts and Twitter threads – and now Channel 4 is turning the story into a two-part film. Written by Chris Atkins and directed by Oonagh Kearney, Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama will no doubt be as juicy as the trial itself, seeing a whole host of famous faces take on the leads. Here’s everything we know so far.
Everything We Know So Far About Channel 4’s Wagatha Christie Film
The film will tell the story of the highly publicized dispute between Rooney and Vardy, wives of DC United manager Wayne Rooney and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy respectively. It all began on 9 October 2019, when Rooney broke the internet with an Instagram post in which she accused Vardy of leaking stories about her to The Sun.
Rooney wrote that, for years, she believed someone had been giving the newspaper information from her private Instagram account. Eventually, she started to suspect someone, so she set up a trap. ‘I blocked everyone from viewing my Instagram stories except one account,’ wrote Coleen. ‘Over the past five months, I have posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into The Sun. And you know what, they did! Now I know for certain which account/individual it’s come from. It’s……… Rebekah Vardy’s account.’
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Vardy responded the same day, strongly denying the claims – and a few months later, she launched a defamation suit against Rooney. The trial took place this summer, complete with countless blockbuster moments – from a Gemma Collins cameo to expletive-ridden text messages and stories of evidence being lost at sea. It ended with Vardy losing the case, leaving her facing a bill for millions of pounds in legal costs.
According to Channel 4, the film will use ‘the real court transcripts verbatim’, with courtroom scenes ‘juxtaposed with analysis from the media and on social media’.
Oonagh Kearney said: ‘This trial utterly captivated the public with its daily feed of entertaining exchanges and jaw-dropping reveals. But behind this, is a story of two women under constant public scrutiny, fighting for their reputations.’ Tim Hancock, commissioning editor at Channel 4, added: ‘The court transcripts are utterly compelling and give a deep insight into the relationship between celebrities and the media, as well as showing how far some people will go to protect their reputation.’
Taking on the lead roles are Harry Potter’s Natalia Tena as Vardy and BAFTA-winning This Is England star Chanel Cresswell as Rooney. They’ll be joined by Dion Lloyd and Marci Nagyszokolyai as the two husbands. Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne, meanwhile, is being played by none other than Michael Sheen, who is no stranger to acting out real-life characters, having played names like Tony Blair and Chris Tarrant in his time. Vardy’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson, whose clientele has included everyone from David Beckham to Rio Ferdinand, will be played by Simon Coury, who most recently starred in 2019 film The Professor and the Madman.
A specific date is yet to be revealed, but we’re told the drama will premiere on Channel 4 later this year.