FREMANTLEMEDIA NORTH AMERICA AND DANCING LEDGE PRODUCTIONS PARTNER WITH LEGENDARY AUTHOR PAULO COELHO
First-Ever TV Drama Based on His Writings to be Developed as Original Crime Thriller Series
Burbank, CA (May 1, 2018) FremantleMedia North America (FMNA), together with Random House Studio and Dancing Ledge Productions, today announced an exclusive deal with visionary Brazilian author Paulo Coelho to develop the first-ever TV drama series based on his works. Exploring themes and characters from his novels The Devil and Miss Prym, Brida and The Witch of Portobello, the gripping crime thriller will explore the human condition, celebrating Coelho's multi-layered and inspirational storytelling.
The as-yet-untitled TV series follows a young priest who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and redemption - ostracized by his church, a fugitive from the law, and hunted by a powerful crime family. Meanwhile, the CIA agent chasing him discovers mysterious powers and a more profound connection to the priest than she ever thought possible. As one of the world's most distinguished authors, known for his deep connection with his audience, Coelho will introduce each episode and share thoughts on its themes.
"There has never been a more prolific, thought-provoking and socially engaged author as Paulo Coelho," said Dante Di Loreto, president of Scripted Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America. "His stories make us look at the world differently, tapping into our true selves to further discover our place within the journey for hope, inspiration and social change."
"Hundreds of millions of people have discovered in Paulo Coelho's writing a universality that feels deeply personal. Here we want to celebrate his vision and weave together elements of his work into a gripping new epic journey. We couldn't be more excited," said Laurence Bowen, CEO of Dancing Ledge Productions.
Coelho is best known as the author of The Alchemist, which has sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, has been translated into more than 80 languages, and remains a New York Times best-seller 25 years after its initial publication. His collective works have earned him the accolade of being one of the highest selling authors in history, and his social media presence has allowed the author to further connect with his readers with more than 29 million Facebook followers and 15 million Twitter followers. The 2015 WorldPost/GDI Global Thought Leaders Index listed Coelho as the #2 most influential global voice, just behind Pope Francis, who holds the #1 position. Currently, Coelho is published by Alfred A. Knopf, Vintage and Vintage Espanol, with titles including Aleph, Manuscript Found in Accra, Adultery, The Spy and Hippie, which will be published in September 2018.
Executive producing the upcoming series will be the multi-Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning team of FMNA's Dante Di Loreto, Random House Studio's Peter Gethers, and Dancing Ledge Productions' Laurence Bowen.
FremantleMedia made its first foray into high-end drama in 2013 with the globally celebrated and International Emmy award-winning Deutschland 83, and has since invested in some of the most talented drama producers around the world. As well as FremantleMedia's global in-house drama producers, companies such as Miso Film across Scandinavia, Abot Hameiri in Israel, Dancing Ledge in the UK, Fontaram and Kwai in France, Wildside in Italy, Gurinder Chadha's Bend It TV in the UK and Easy Tiger in Australia all sit within the FremantleMedia drama family.
The deal with Paulo Coelho is the latest creative partnership to be announced by FremantleMedia, who has recently released plans for a roster of large scale, high-end drama series. Following the global success of FremantleMedia-produced American Gods and The Young Pope, upcoming projects include the adaptation of Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North; the re-imagining of the timeless Australian novel by Joan Lindsay, Picnic At Hanging Rock; the drama version of Elena Ferrante's international bestselling book My Brilliant Friend, commissioned by HBO and RAI; an adaption of Mervyn Peake's critically acclaimed Gormenghast fantasy book series; and Deutschland86, the sequel of the award-winning UFA Fiction series Deutschland83, produced in cooperation with Amazon Germany.
About FremantleMedia North America
FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is the U.S. arm of global media giant FremantleMedia. A powerhouse in scripted and non-scripted content, FremantleMedia also comprises a distribution arm, FremantleMedia International, as well as a digital and branded entertainment division. As one of the world's largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of TV brands in the world, FremantleMedia's comprehensive global network has operations in 31 countries, creating over 10,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 45 formats and managing over 350 individual titles. The company also distributes more than 20,000 hours of content in over 200 territories. For more information follow us @FMNATV and visit our Facebook page.
About Random House Studio
Random House Studio was acquired by FremantleMedia North America in 2016, with FMNA overseeing all TV adaptations, and Meridien Entertainment overseeing the studio's theatrical slate. Random House Studio has produced, among other feature films Reservation Road and One Day. They are currently developing and producing films for Universal, Lionsgate and Studio Canal. Since becoming part of FremantleMedia, they are also developing and producing scripted and unscripted television shows for both an adult and children's audience.
About Dancing Ledge Productions
Dancing Ledge Productions was founded by the multi BAFTA Award winning producer Laurence Bowen (The Eichmann Show) in 2016, with a 25% investment stake from FremantleMedia. The scripted production company is developing TV and film projects for international broadcasters including Channel 4, Sky TV, BBC, UKTV, Film4 and the History Channel. It has a development deal with Martin Freeman and is the producer of comedy series Porters for UKTV's Dave.
Founded on its relationship with writers, Dancing Ledge Productions collaborates with the very best talent in the industry including Mark Gatiss, Joe Barton and Guy Hibbert, while working hard to nurture the next generation through its Writer In Residence scheme.