The tragic tale of Georgetowners Viola Drath and wife killer Albrecht Muth will be made into a movie by Christoph Waltz, who will direct and also play the part of Muth.
The film, based on a New York Times Magazine article, “The Worst Marriage in Georgetown,” will begin production in October, Variety reported.
“Voltage Pictures has come aboard to fully finance and produce the picture, which will be sold at Cannes,” according to Variety. “The film will be produced by Waltz, Erica Steinberg (‘Inglorious Basterds’) and Nicolas Chartier. Zev Foreman and Jonathan Deckter will be exec producing for Voltage, alongside M. Janet Hill, who originally optioned the material. The script was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright David Auburn (‘Proof’).”
Waltz — who appears to be perfectly cast for the film — won Academy Awards for “Inglourious Basterds” and “Django Unchained.” He will make his directorial debut in “The Worst Marriage in Georgetown.” He plays the villain in the James Bond movie, “Spectre,” set for a November release.
Drath and Muth were known around Georgetown for their dinner parties and moved about in Washington society. In fact, Muth once visited the offices of the Georgetowner Newspaper to purchase tickets for a benefit. A staffer recalled that he was “totally creepy.”
The following is the sad, you-cannot-make-this-stuff-up story, as previously reported in the Georgetowner.
Albrecht Gero Muth was convicted of killing his 91-year-old wife Viola Herms Drath in 2011 in their Q Street home in Georgetown and given a 50-year prison sentence.
At the April 30, 2014, sentencing, Judge Russell F. Canan of D.C. Superior Court said he found the evidence against Muth “overwhelming” and scoffed at his hunger strikes in the hospital, where Muth remained during the trial and the sentencing and participated via videoconference. Muth’s lawyer Dana Page spoke on his behalf, reading a statement that claimed Muth was innocent and that his wife was killed by Iranian agents.
Drath was found dead in the third-floor bathroom of her home on Q Street on Aug. 12, 2011, after being strangled and beaten.
At the time, medical examiners determined Drath’s death to be a homicide – and not a result of falling, as Muth first contended. There had been not forced entry into the house. He was arrested a few days later on P Street, after being locked out of the house and wandering around the neighborhood and sleeping in nearby Montrose Park.
A veteran journalist and married previously to an Army colonel, Drath married Muth in 1990. The couple was known around town for their dinner parties with a mix of political, diplomatic, military and media VIPs. Drath was 44 years older than Muth.
Prosecutors argued that Muth showed a pattern of abuse against his wife and was motivated by money, saying he had no steady job and was not included in Drath’s will. “He was a good little con man,” prosecutor Glenn Kirschner told the jury.
During trial testimony, Drath’s daughters, Connie and Francesca (from her first marriage), talked about Muth’s money arrangements with his wife and of his emails to them about items he wanted upon her death.
Seen around Georgetown in faux military garb, the cigar-smoking Muth was perceived by neighbors and shopkeepers as an oddball. He said that he was a member of the Iraqi Army — which the Iraqi government denied. Muth went so far as to have arranged a 2010 ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery for Iraqi Liberation Day. He was also known around government and foundation lobbying circles as Count Albi of the EPG (Eminent Persons Group).