BBC Hitches Wagon To Hitchcock Craze, Again
With Alfred Hitchcock hot right now, the BBC is doubling up on the action. It’s already co-producing The Girl with HBO, a look at the director’s obsessive relationship with The Birds star Tippi Hedren. Now, it’s producing a new take on The Lady Vanishes with a British cast that includes Upstairs Downstairs star Keeley Hawes, Spooks’ Gemma Jones and The Hour’s Julian Rhind-Tutt. The 90-minute psychological thriller is penned by Fiona Seres and is set to air at Christmas. Seres adapted the source novel The Wheel Spins, which Hitchcock filmed as The Lady Vanishes in 1938. Set in 1931, the story centers on Iris, a young socialite on vacation who leaves her friends to travel alone. But after fainting at the train station, she awakens in a dreamlike state where a woman who comforts her then vanishes. Tuppence Middleton (Spies Of Warsaw, Love Punch) and Tom Hughes (Cemetery Junction, Page Eight) lead the cast. The film is produced by BBC Drama Productions and Ann Tricklebank. Diarmuid Lawrence (Little Dorrit) is directing. Hitchcock’s Vertigo recently dislodged Citizen Kane as BFI Sight & Sound’s greatest movie of all time. In addition to The Girl with Sienna Miller and Toby Jones, another project based on the director’s life is Fox Searchlight’s Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson.

Entertainment One Lines Up South Korea Partner
United Entertainment Korea has made a deal to handle all eOne’s international home entertainment titles in South Korea. eOne Television International will continue to handle TV content in Korea and eOne Films International will continue to handle film sales. First titles to be released in theaters under the new partnership are Dragon Age and Mass Effect. eOne filmed entertainmenbt president Patrice Theroux said “it’s essential that we build strong partnerships with local industry leaders like UEK” as eOne expands globally. UEK handles home entertainment products for Sony Pictures, NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox.

Youku, China’s Largest Online Video Provider, Absorbs Rival Tudou
Youku Inc., China’s biggest online video company, won approval from shareholders to acquire rival Tudou Holdings Ltd. in a deal that will extend Youku’s lead over websites run by Baidu Inc. and Tencent Holdings. Youku’s shareholders approved all resolutions related to the all stock transaction with Tudou. The combined company will have more than 300 million weekly users, helping reduce content licensing and network costs, and generate savings of as much as $60 million annually, Youku said in March. Tudou shareholders separately approved the deal. Beijing-based Youku accounted for 20.9% of China’s online video market by revenue in the first quarter, compared with 11.5% for second-placed Tudou. Baidu’s iQiyi unit ranked 4th with 6.7% while Tencent accounted for 4.7%.