Murphy died in 2009, aged 32. The cause of her death was ruled as accidental, with the coroner blaming a combination of pneumonia and over-the-counter medications.
The two-part documentary series, however, features interviews with Murphy’s former co-stars and examines ‘concerns’ relating to her husband, London-born screenwriter Simon Monjack, whom she married in 2007.
The trailer for What Happened, Brittany Murphy? accuses Monjack of repeatedly lying about having terminal brain cancer, and having dated Elle Macpherson and Madonna.
“Every single word out of his mouth was a lie,” says one contributor.
Monjack himself died less than six months after Murphy, at the same Los Angeles house, under similar circumstances.
“Brittany was so wonderful,” says actress Kathy Najimy in the trailer. “There was nobody else like her.”
She goes on to describe how Monjack “came along” when the star was suffering a “little dip”.
“I think that’s where her judgment was muddled, and she became prey. We all were scared and freaked out. Like, ‘Who was this guy?'”
Other contributors cast further suspicion on the narrative surrounding Murphy’s death.
One said, “a healthy 32-year-old doesn’t just die,” while another added: “Simon took her away. He made sure no one could get to her.”
Directed by Cynthia Hill, What Happened, Brittany Murphy? features new footage and interviews with the actress’ friends.
Producers say it “goes beyond the tabloid rumours to examine the impact of Hollywood’s sexism on her struggles, as well as lingering concerns about her relationship”.
Both episodes of the documentary will debut on HBO Max on 14 October, but unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for a UK release date.