EXCLUSIVE | 'Home Before Dark' creator Dana Fox says love for true-crime podcasts inspired her

Dana Fox also opened up about how the extraordinary story of nine-year-old Hilde Lysiak reminded of her own childhood

                            EXCLUSIVE | 'Home Before Dark' creator Dana Fox says love for true-crime podcasts inspired her
Dana Fox is the creator of Apple TV+ series 'Home Before Dark' (Apple)

Season 1 of ‘Home Before Dark’ was undoubtedly one of the best TV shows last year and kept the viewers at the edge of their seats.

Based on a true story of a girl named Hilde Lysiak, a young investigative reporter, the show had all the ingredients of becoming a blockbuster project. But creating a series on a real-life person is never easy and involves a lot of research. The best thing about ‘Home Before Dark’ is that the show had an experienced writers like Dana Fox and Dara Resnik attached to it. Fox, who has written several Hollywood movies, was determined to tell the extraordinary story of a young journalist who captivated the minds of the people with her willpower.


'Home Before Dark' stresses 'The Future is Female' through a woman of color's triumph over workplace sexism

'Home Before Dark' addresses bullying and harassment amidst a whodunnit murder mystery

However, the stakes are higher is this time around and Fox is absolutely ready for the challenge. Series creator Dana Fox spoke to MEAWW about the show and how ‘Home Before Dark’ is different from the projects that she’s been a part of in the past.

For the uninitiated, Fox graduated from Stanford University and started her writing career with the movie ‘The Wedding Date’ (2005). The film turned out to be a financial success and Fox started to get offers to write more romantic comedies like ‘What Happens in Vegas’, ‘Couples Retreat’ and ‘Isn’t It Romantic’. So, what compelled her to take a new direction at this moment of her career and write a compelling crime-thriller series.


Talking about the series, Fox told MEAWW that she wanted to go a “little deeper emotionally with the characters” and make a TV show that felt like a “true crime” podcast where people were eagerly waiting for the next episode to arrive. “I have a sort of true-crime podcast addiction. All my career, I was writing these hilarious comedies, but in my spare time, I was listening to these horrific murder podcasts. I was in that kind of world and was really obsessed with ‘Serial’ at that time. I always wanted to make a TV show which felt like that,” Fox said.

With the help of her fellow producer Joy Gorman, she came to know about the extraordinary story about Hilde Lysiak, 9, who started the local newspaper Orange Street News to investigate neighborhood crimes. Fox did not waste much time and took inspiration from Hilde’s story to write ‘Home Before Dark’.

“When I got to know about Hilde Lysiak, a girl who went back to his father’s hometown to investigate a murder and people told her that she was crazy and she should go back to having tea parties. I just thought what an extraordinary story that this girl didn’t listen and she just kept going. In the end, it turned out she was right and she had scooped a murder,” Fox noted.


The screenwriter also revealed that the story reminded of her own childhood and how elders did not take her seriously. "I wanted adults to take me seriously and nobody ever did. People were constantly patting me on the head, telling me that 'I was a good little girl' and that used to drive me insane," Fox added. 

She also feels that Hilde could be an inspiration for everyone and that was the “impetus” behind creating a series like ‘Home Before Dark’.

Fox is currently riding high on the success of her latest project ‘Cruella’. Starring Emma Stone and Emma Thompson in pivotal roles, the movie has opened to positive reviews from the critics as well as the audience. The sequel for the movie has already been announced by Disney.



Season 2 of ‘Home Before Dark’ will premiere exclusively on Apple TV+ on Friday, June 11.

If you have an entertainment scoop or a story for us, please reach out to us on (323) 421-7515