The Weinstein Company to partner on epic new BBC drama War and Peace
Needless to say, adapting War and Peace is a tremendous but exciting task. There's no one I'd rather be partnering with than Lookout Point's Simon Vaughan and the BBC's Ben Stephenson and Faith Penhale on this production, whose incredible visions are second to none in bringing classic literature to the screen in the most sophisticated way possible.”Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company
Tolstoy’s epic story will be adapted for the screen on an epic scale in what will be one of the most ambitious event dramas ever produced for the BBC. The deal was structured under the BBC Worldwide, Lookout Point co-venture and overseen by Danny Cohen Director of Television for the BBC.
Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company said: “Needless to say, adapting War and Peace is a tremendous but exciting task. There's no one I'd rather be partnering with than Lookout Point's Simon Vaughan and the BBC's Ben Stephenson and Faith Penhale on this production, whose incredible visions are second to none in bringing classic literature to the screen in the most sophisticated way possible.”
The series will be Executive Produced by Faith Penhale, Head of Drama BBC Cymru Wales (Sherlock, Doctor Who) and George Ormond (Geat Expectations, Emma) for BBC Wales, Andrew Davies (Mr Selfridge, House of Cards), Simon Vaughan (Parade's End, Ripper Street) for Lookout Point and Harvey Weinstein (King's Speech, Silver Lining's Playbook) for The Weinstein Company. The series will be available in both 6 x 1 hour and 8 x 44 minute episodes for international markets.
War and Peace is widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time with over 36 million copies of the novel sold worldwide. The new drama is being scripted by Andrew Davies, whose work includes the seminal 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and his acclaimed adaptation of Bleak House in 2005. He is widely recognised as the world's greatest adapter of classic literature.
Danny Cohen, Director of Television for the BBC said: “War and Peace is major event drama for the BBC, written by Andrew Davies and made by BBC Productions. It's fantastic to be partnering with the Weinstein Company on this exciting project.”
Simon Vaughan said: "With BBC and Harvey on board we are making a serious statement of intent and expect to attract the talent and in turn the audiences that truly befit Tolstoy's work. Making War and Peace is no small undertaking and this partnership has the experience needed to tackle a work of this significance."
Helen Jackson, Chief Content Officer for BBC Worldwide said: “War and Peace is exactly the kind of distinctive, high quality drama that BBC Worldwide through its co-venture with Lookout Point seeks to bring to the world, bringing together top talent and ambitious production partners to create stand out content that audiences the world over will delight in.”
For more information, please contact:
Emma Finlay, Communications Manager Brands & Content, BBC Worldwide
Telephone: 0208 433 2536 Email: Emma.Finlay@bbc.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
About BBC Worldwide Ltd. BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBC Worldwide exists to support the BBC public service mission and to maximise profits on its behalf. It does this through investing in, commercialising and showcasing content from the BBC around the world, in a way that is consistent with BBC standards and values. The business also builds the reach and reputation of the BBC brand overseas and champions British creativity.
In 2012/13, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £156m and headline sales of £1,116m and returned £156m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: http://www.bbcworldwide.com/annualreview
About Lookout Point
Lookout Point is a producer of high-end international drama. Since its establishment in 2009, the boutique London-based company has set up commercially and creatively successful co-productions built upon well-established relationships with talent and broadcasters. Lookout Point's recent productions include Ripper Street, the ambitious returning police procedural series starring Matthew Macfadyen for BBC One/BBC America, which is soon to air its much-anticipated second series, Tom Stoppard’s critically acclaimed adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End for BBC Two/HBO and the mini-series Titanic, written by Oscar and Emmy-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, which was broadcast in 2012 in over one hundred territories. The company has a strategic co-venture partnership with BBC Worldwide, through which they jointly maximise the financing and distribution of projects in the global marketplace.
ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes. TWC releases took home eight 2012 Academy Awards®, the most wins in the studio’s history. The tally included Best Picture for Michel Hazanavicius’s THE ARTIST and Best Documentary Feature for TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay’s UNDEFEATED. THE ARTIST brought TWC its second consecutive Best Picture statuette following the 2011 win for Tom Hooper’s THE KING’S SPEECH.
Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; 1408; I’M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH’S KEY; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE IRON LADY; W.E.; CORIOLANUS; UNDEFEATED; THE ARTIST; BULLY; THE INTOUCHABLES; LAWLESS; KILLING THEM SOFTLY; THE MASTER; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK; DJANGO UNCHAINED; QUARTET; ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH; DARK SKIES; THE SAPPHIRES; SCARY MOVIE 5; and KON-TIKI. Currently in release are UNFINISHED SONG and FRUITVALE STATION, LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER, and THE GRANDMASTER. Upcoming releases include SALINGER and MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM.
TWC is active in television production, led by former Miramax Films President of Production Meryl Poster. TWC is the studio behind such hit television series as the Emmy® nominated and Peabody Award winning reality series PROJECT RUNWAY and its spin-off series PROJECT RUNWAY ALL STARS and PROJECT ACCESSORY; the VH1 reality series MOB WIVES and its spin-off series MOB WIVES CHICAGO and BIG ANG; and the critically acclaimed scripted HBO comedy/crime series THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY which also received a Peabody Award. The company is in production on the upcoming TLC series WELCOME TO MYRTLE MANOR, the A&E series RODEO QUEENS, and the Lifetime reality competition show SUPERMARKET SUPERSTAR hosted by Stacy Keibler. Among TWC’s other projects in development for television are the martial-arts epic MARCO POLO for Starz, an untitled private eye procedural for FX, and THE NANNY DIARIES developed by ABC with a pilot by Amy Sherman Palladino.
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