How Hollywood’s Most Notorious Murder Inspired Chris Pine Series ‘I Am the Night’

We’re used to seeing (read: drooling over) Chris Pine and his angel-like face on rom-coms and big Hollywood blockbusters but he’s taken a bit of a detour with his latest venture, a six-part crime series called I Am The Night, now streaming only on Stan.

The gripping crime noir taps into the public’s current obsession with true crime as it tells the infamous story of the Black Dahlia slaying with a fictional spin.

But for those of you who missed that part of history, let’s take a look back at the wild true story that inspired the series.

The headshot of the real life Elizabeth Short (Credit: Getty Images)

The fictionalised version that features on the cover of newspapers in the series (Credit: Stan)

On the morning of January, 15, 1947, the slain body of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short was found on the sidewalk of a Los Angeles car park.

As if that wasn’t disturbing enough, the 22-year-old was discovered cut in half, bathed and drained of all her blood.

To this day the case remains unsolved and is widely regarded as Hollywood’s most notorious murder mystery.

The six-part limited TV series features true events surrounding the murder accompanied by a fictional storyline to drive the series.

India Eisley (left) with Chris Pine (right)

A teenager named Fauna (India Eisley) who was given up at birth goes on a quest to discover what happened in her past. She meets a disgraced reporter (played by our main man Chris) and the pair form an unlikely partnership.

“On the journey to find who she really was, she stumbled into one of the most famous true crime stories in history,” Director and Executive Producer Patty Jenkins (who previously worked with Pine on Wonder Woman) told PEOPLE.

“The 16-year-old girl is the noir detective of our story,” she adds.

Eisley (left) with Pine (right)

This is where the real Black Dahlia case comes in as the pair find themselves on a path leading to a Los Angeles gynaecologist named George Hodel (played in the series by Jefferson Mays) who is the prime suspect in the case but was never charged (both IRL and in the series).

Hodel reportedly dated the late actress before her untimely death and there’s a heap of evidence pointing him to the murder, all of which was documented in a book by his own son, a retired LAPD homicide detective.

One compelling piece of evidence was the fact that detectives looked into the possibility that the murderer may have been a surgeon, doctor, or someone with medical knowledge based on the precise cuts and dissection of Short’s corpse and Hodel was, himself, a medical professional.

The front cover of a newspaper in the show

The FBI’s website, on a page dedicated to the crime, states, “The murderer has never been found, and given how much time has passed, probably never will be. The legend grows.”

The series also stars Leland Orser (Berlin Station), Yul Vazquez (Last Flag Flying), Dylan Smith (Maze Runner: The Death Cure), Golden Brooks (Girlfriends), Justin Cornwell (Training Day), Jay Paulson (Mad Men) and Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman). 

Check out the full trailer below: