Tom Hollander Stars As Dylan Thomas In Andrew Davies Drama
Tom Hollander (Rev, Any Human Heart) will play Dylan Thomas in the one-off drama A Poet In New York by Andrew Davies’ (Mr Selfridge). Modern Television is producing for the BBC to mark the centenary of Thomas’ birth. The story kicks off with the Welsh poet’s arrival in Manhattan on his fatal visit and covers the last days of his life as well as his stormy relationship with wife Caitlin. Essie Davis, Ewen Bremner and Phoebe Fox also star. Shooting is underway, with the drama due to air on BBC One Wales and BBC Two next year.

Turkish Drama ‘The End’ Sells To Russian World Studios
Turkish drama The End has sold to over 35 territories in its original version and a U.S. remake is underway via Sander/Moses Productions. Russian World Studios is the latest to jump into the mix, acquiring rights for a local adaptation from Eccho Rights. A psychological thriller that’s been compared to Homeland, The End is produced by Turkey’s Ay Yapim. The story’s about a woman navigating a web of lies and intrigue as she searches for her husband whom she initially presumed dead following a plane crash. But it turns out he never boarded the plane.

Production Starts In October On ’80s-Set English Drama ‘Pride’
Pathé, BBC Films, the BFI and Calamity Films said Thursday that Proud Films production Pride will start principal photography on October 7. The film will shoot for eight weeks in London and in Wales. Matthew Warchus directs a large ensemble cast led by Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton and including Dominic West, Paddy Considine and Joseph Gilgun. Stephen Beresford wrote the screenplay based on a true story about the gay and lesbian activists who want to raise money to support the families of the striking miners in 1984 England but meet with initial pushback. The film is produced by David Livingstone and executive produced by Cameron McCracken and Christine Langan.

Laurence Jones, Nick Samwell-Smith Upped At Endemol UK’s Initial
Endemol UK has upped Laurence Jones from Managing Director of entertainment production arm Initial to the role of Commercial Director for Endemol UK. Nick Samwell-Smith, Initial’s creative director, has been promoted to the division’s Managing Director. Jones has led Initial since 2002 and has been instrumental in its commercial relationship with the UK’s Channel 5 on Big Brother as well as the company’s digital media partnership with The Rolling Stones. His production credits include Fame Academy (BBC One) and UK Music Hall Of Fame (Channel 4). He will now focus on growing Endemol UK’s off-screen revenues across all platforms. Samwell-Smith joined Initial in 1997. His credits include The Match (Sky), Soccer Aid (ITV), Total Wipeout (BBC One) and Your Face Sounds Familiar (ITV). He has also been in charge of Big Brother since 2011. As managing director of Initial he will be responsible for further expanding the company’s entertainment output and the continued development of existing programs.

Sweden Picks ‘Eat Sleep Die’ As Foreign Language Oscar Contender
Gabriela Pichler’s feature debut, Eat Sleep Die, has been selected as Sweden’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar. The movie premiered in Venice’s Critics’ Week last year, winning the Audience Award. It also won the Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress prizes at the Swedish film awards, the Guldbagge Awards, in January. The drama about working-class values, unemployment and paternal love focuses on Rasa, a 20-year-old who lives with her father in a small village in southern Sweden. The Yellow Affair has international sales.

Universal Channel Picks Up ‘Sleepy Hollow’, ‘Graceland’ For UK
Universal Channel has acquired UK rights to mystery-adventure drama, Sleepy Hollow, and contemporary crime drama Graceland, from 20th Century Fox Television Distribution. Sleepy Hollow is a modern-day retelling of Washington Irving’s classic story. Set to premiere on Fox in the U.S. this month, it stars Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie. Graceland follows an FBI rookie assigned to join a team of agents from the FBI, DEA and Customs living together undercover in a California beach house. It’s currently airing on USA Network and stars Daniel Sunjata and Aaron Tveit. As previously announced, Bates Motel is also set to make its UK premier on Universal Channel, which is branding itself as a character-focused outlet.

David Williams Tapped To Voice Lead Dog In ‘Pudsey: The Movie’
Vertigo Films, Syco Entertainment and ROAR Global have set Britain’s Got Talent and Little Britain star David Walliams as the voice of Pudsey the dog in Pudsey: The Movie. The real-life Pudsey won Britain’s Got Talent in 2012. A six-week shoot for the British family film began on September 1. Nick Moore is directing from a script by Paul Rose. The adventure pic follows the cheeky city pup as he moves with his family to the countryside, where he must thwart an evil plan in order to save them. The film is slated for release in the UK in May 2014 by Vertigo Distribution. Content is selling international rights.

Akan Satayev Set To Direct ‘Hacker’
Akan Satayev, the helmer behind Kazakhstan’s Foreign Language Film Oscar entries Strayed and Myn Bala is set to direct Hacker. The film tells the story of a young immigrant kid who gets involved with a cyber criminal organization called DarkWeb where, despite the heavy consequences, he revels in the pursuit of easy money and stealing from the rich. The story was written by Satayev and Timur Zhaxylykov; Sanzhar Sultanov penned the script. Sultanov’s Know Rules Media will produce alongside Satayev’s SataiFilm. Jai Khanna is executive producing.

Danny Villa Named EVP of MME/Filmpool USA
Danny Villa has been appointed EVP of MME/Filmpool USA. The LA-based studio will create and produce American series and adapt formats from its German parent company MME/Filmpool. The Germany-based company is best known for its scripted and factual entertainment fare including Berlin, Day And Night and Cologne – 50667. Villa previously launched the U.S. operation for TwoFour America and is also a former VP Development and programming for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

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