Ecosse teams with Sonar on action-adventure series; Netflix, Screen Media get Manchester United drama United for US; Miramax to handle Samuel Goldwyn library; LipSync wins post on Falcon.
Sonar Entertainment and Ecosse Films are partnering to develop and produce a 10-part action-adventure series called Quatermain, based on H. Rider Haggard’s classic swashbuckling story.
Stewart Till, new CEO of Sonar Entertainment made the announcement with Douglas Rae, founder, managing director and executive producer, Ecosse Films.
Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle are the writers on the series, which will chart Quatermain’s dangerous journey across African deserts and rugged terrain in search of a Baron’s son who has disappeared trying to find King Solomon’s mines.
“Allan Quatermain is one of the greatest adventure heroes in all of literature. In the years since his introduction, he has subsequently inspired many hugely successful characters and franchises, including the Indiana Jones series,” said Till. “We are extremely excited about this opportunity to partner with Ecosse as we introduce Quatermain to a new generation and bring his timeless exploits into the 21st Century.”
In a major US content deal Content Television secured new deals on football drama United [pictured], starring David Tennant, Dougray Scott and Jack O’Connell. Netflix, Screen Media, Globosat and HBO were among buyers of the drama which is based on the true story of Manchester United’s celebrated ‘Busby Babes’, the youngest side ever to win the Football League, many of whom died in the 1958 Munich air crash.
United was picked up in the US and Canada by Netflix for subscription VOD rights and Screen Media for broadcast and video rights including TVOD and EST Content also inked a pan territory Pay TV deal with MVS Television which will see United airing throughout Latin America alongside an acquisition by Globosat for broadcast in Brazil.
In Australasia, Universal Pictures has picked up all rights for Australia and New Zealand, Paradiso Inc acquires all rights for Japan and HBO signs Pay TV rights across Asia. Further acquisitions include Carmen Film (Russia and CIS); AMC/Sundance Channel Global (Europe, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia); M Pictures (Thailand); Yes DBS Israel and M-Net (South Africa). A raft of European broadcasters including RTE (Ireland), NRK (Norway), SVT (Sweden), TV2 (Denmark), Tele-München Group (German speaking Europe) and ITI Neovision (Poland) have also acquired United.
The news comes alongside Content Television’s latest launch of its next acquisition from World Productions – the primetime BBC dramaLine of Duty. Described as “a cat-and-mouse thriller taking a probing look into modern policing and corruption”, the 5 x 1 hour series stars Lennie James (The Walking Dead), Martin Compston (Sweet Sixteen), Vicky McClure (This Is England) and Adrian Dunbar (Ashes to Ashes) and makes its international debut at MIPTV.
Miramax continues to lock up impressive licensing deals, pacting with Samuel Goldwyn today.
Miramax will license content across a range of television and digital platforms, including free and premium linear services, subscription video-on-demand and ad-supported video-on-demand. Titles under the deal include Guys and Dolls; Wuthering Heights (1939); and Best Picture Oscar winner, The Best Years of Our Lives.
In post-production news LipSync has won the contract to provide post-production services for Falcon, the £6 million budget, 4x60min crime drama produced by Mammoth Screen for Sky Atlantic. The series is due for transmission later in 2012.
Toronto-based 108 Media announced new Ninja title Last of the Dragons.
The fledgling outfit is teaming with former Marvel exec editor Carl Potts and independent producer Adam Shully and his partner Mark Shekter to produce the event mini-series.
In news out of South Africa, Marlow de Mardt and Brigid Olën have teamed up with producer and financier Michael Auret at Spier Films to form Viva! TV, a new company that will specialise in the servicing and production of long form TV drama in South Africa and will take advantage of local tax credits.