Endemol Worldwide Distribution has pacted with London-based Origin Pictures, makers of recent BBC mini Death Comes To Pemberley, in an exclusive three-year first-look deal. The partners will jointly develop and finance a new slate of drama series for the UK and international markets, marking a further push by Endemol into scripted projects. Endemol will provide development funding and will handle international rights. The pair previously worked together on Death Comes to Pemberley, which launched at Mipcom last October. Origin Pictures, founded in 2008 by former BBC Films exec David Thompson, works across television and features. Its TV credits include BAFTA nominated mini The Crimson Petal And The White and the upcoming BBC One mini Jamaica Inn starring Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay. On the feature side, Origin has produced 2011 horror pic The Awakening and last year’s Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.
Laurence Olivier did it, and so did Colin Firth. Now it’s Matthew Rhys‘ turn to portray Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy. Rhys is playing the iconic character in Death Comes To Pemberley, a three-part mini that unspools on BBC One in the UK over three days beginning December 26th. The suspense drama will then make its way to PBS’ Masterpiece in 2014. Based on P.D. James’ novel which revisits Austen’s most iconic characters, Pemberley also stars Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth Bennett, Matthew Goode as George Wickham and Doctor Who‘s Jenna Coleman as Lydia Wickham. The story picks up six years into Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage as they prepare for their annual ball. When Lydia arrives, she brings a shocking halt to the proceedings and a murder investigation ensues:
The British Film Insitute has begun handing out certifications to animated and high-end TV projects which will allow them to gain access to the UK’s lucrative new 25% production tax breaks. Among the first to receive certificates are several BBC projects including Death Comes To Pemberley from Origin Pictures; Red Planet Pictures’ six-part crime drama By Any Means; Mammoth Screen’s mystery Remember Me and animated CBeebies shows Calamity Island and Sarah And Duck. Sam Mendes’ psychosexual horror series for Showtime, Penny Dreadful, is expected to be among the first U.S. TV dramas to benefit. Projects must be deemed culturally British or qualify as British co-productions in order to receive a rubber stamp from the BFI. They can then apply for tax relief on production spend incurred since April 1, 2013 when the regs were put into law. The scheme allows a 25% tax credit for TV series and animated programs costing at least £1M per hour to produce. The aim is to stem runaway production and to protect the local creative industries.
Jack Davenport was given the thankless job in NBC’s canceled Smash of portraying a hotshot choreographer-director who thought Katharine McPhee was the perfect Marilyn Monroe for his Broadway production. Now he will get a much happier role playing an OBGYN in London in the 1960s-set Breathless for PBS. Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton confirmed his casting tonight at Summer TV Press Tour 2013. ITV Studios is co-producing. Eaton also confirmed Deadline’s May report that Matthew Rhys will play Mr. Darcy in PBS’s 3-part adaptation of Death Comes to Pemberley, based on the novel by P.D. James that imagines Jane Austen’s Darcy and Elizabeth six years after they marry and a body turns up at Pemberley as they’re preparing for their annual ball. Anna Maxwell Martin plays Elizabeth in the drama, timed to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Origin Pictures is producing for BBC One with filming in Yorkshire. The series is expected to run during the end-of-year holidays.
Britons recently voted a scene from the 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice as the most memorable TV moment of all time. Therein, Colin Firth‘s Mr. Darcy takes a dip in a lake and then, dripping wet and under-dressed, runs into Jennifer Ehle’s Elizabeth Bennett. In honor of UKTV‘s new Drama channel, the media company has erected a 12-foot statue of Darcy in Hyde Park’s Serpentine lake. The sculptor says Firth’s Darcy was a starting point, but that notes were used from others who’ve portrayed him including Matthew Macfadyen and Laurence Olivier. Still, the end result bears a striking resemblance to the King’s Speech Oscar winner. The statue will eventually settle at Lyme Park in Cheshire, the scene of the Pemberley manor in Pride And Prejudice. The BBC is adapting Death Comes To Pemberley, based on the suspense novel by P.D. James that pays homage to Jane Austen’s iconic characters. Matthew Rhys is playing Darcy. At the time the three-part serial was announced, Rhys said his Darcy would be different from the ones who have gone before, “And also, I don’t have to appear from a lake in a white shirt and breeches.” Video of the original scene is on the next page:
Last month, BBC One set Matthew Rhys to play Mr. Darcy in Death Comes To Pemberley, the three-part serial based on P.D. James’ suspense novel which revisits Jane Austen’s most iconic characters. A vast lineup of British TV talent has now been added to the cast, including Doctor Who star Jenna-Louise Coleman as Lydia Wickham, the sister of Austen’s Pride And Prejudice heroine Elizabeth Bennett. As previously announced, Anna Maxwell Martin is playing Bennett and Matthew Goode is George Wickham, Lydia’s husband. The story picks up six years into Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage as they prepare for their annual ball. When Lydia arrives, she brings a shocking halt to the proceedings and a murder investigation unfolds. Also joining the cast are Trevor Eve (Waking The Dead), Rebecca Front (The Thick Of It), James Fleet (Sense And Sensibility), Penelope Keith (To The Manor Born), Joanna Scanlan (The Thick of It), Tom Ward (Silent Witness), Eleanor Tomlinson (The White Queen) and James Norton (Rush). Calendar Girls‘ Juliette Towhidi penned the adaptation which will be directed by Daniel Percival (Crossing Lines). Shooting starts this month in Yorkshire. Origin Pictures is producing for BBC One.