UPDATE, 1:15 PM: NBC said production will begin in the fall on Crossbones, which features “an unexpected moral center where one can’t be sure whether the pirates or the British crown are the villains,” the network says. It will center on Tom Lowe, an undercover assassin who is sent to the pirates’ haven to take down the brilliant and charismatic Blackbeard. But the closer Lowe gets, the more he can’t help but admire the political ideals of of the pirate, whose thirst for knowledge knows no bounds and no law. Blackbeard is a man with many villainous rivals and one great weakness — a passionately driven woman whom he cannot deny. Ted Gold is executive producing with Cross, Parkes and MacDonald and Universal Television is among the production companies.
Related: Reliance Starts U.S. TV Production Company, Nears Series Order At NBC For Pirate Drama
PREVIOUS, 9:35 AM: As we predicted last week, NBC today announced a 10-episode pirate drama series written by Luther creator Neil Cross and produced by feature producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, who have a first-look deal with the network. The project, titled Crossbones, hails from Georgeville Television, an independent TV studio formed recently by producer and former Heyday Films executive Marc Rosen (Harry Potter), and Motion Picture Capital, the finance arm of Reliance Entertainment. The series is based on the book The Republic Of Pirates by Colin Woodard. Set during the 10-year … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: So far, Reliance has been known in Hollywood for its film investments, primarily as financier of Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios. Now the Indian media giant is venturing into American television, backing a new 10-episode pirate series for NBC eyed for a March premiere, which will likely be announced at the network’s upfront presentation Monday. I’ve learned that NBC is finalizing a deal for a straight-to-series order to the period drama, which will be produced by Georgeville Television, an independent TV studio formed recently by producer and former Heyday Films executive Marc Rosen (Harry Potter), and Motion Picture Capital, the finance arm of Reliance Entertainment. GVTV, which has operated quietly for the past three months, has the capability to fully-finance major network and cable scripted series, with Republic Of Pirates being its first project.
Luther creator Neil Cross is nearing a deal to write the project and executive produce it with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. The drama was originally set up at NBC last June under Parkes/MacDonald Prods’ first-look deal with the network. It became the first drama buy for then-new NBC chief Bob Greenblatt and his team last summer, with Jim Hart and Amanda Wells brought in to write it. Cross will now write the project under his recently inked overall deal with Universal TV. The series is based on the book The Republic Of Pirates by Colin Woodard. Set during the 10-year “Golden Age of Piracy” from 1715 to 1725, it follows some of the world’s most notorious pirates as they forge their own rogue nation, called New Providence, which became the first democracy in the Americas. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: British novelist-screenwriter Neil Cross, creator of the BBC series Luther, is coming to American television. In his first formal U.S. TV pact, Cross has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television to develop new series projects. “Neil Cross is a visionary and we are huge fans of his stellar work on Luther,” Universal TV EVP Bela Bajaria said. “We look forward to working with him to create a big broadcast network hit.” Lurher has garnered accolades on both sides of the pond, earning star Idris Elba a Golden Globe award and an Emmy nomination. Its most recent prize came last week, when Luther was named best drama series at the British Royal TV Society Awards. On the feature side, Cross was recently tapped by Ghost House Pictures to write The Day Of The Triffids, based on the classic sci-fi horror novel written by John Wyndam and the 1962 film Invasion Of The Triffids. Cross previously penned two Guillermo del Toro-produced genre films: Mama, staring Jessica Chastain, which is in post-production; and actioner Midnight Delivery, which is being fast-tracked. Del Toro also enlisted Cross for a polish on his upcoming giant-budget monster movie Pacific Rim. Cross, who recently did TV development at 20th Century Fox Television, is repped by UTA, UK-based Independent Talent Group and attorneys Fred Toczek and Bruce Gellman.
Neil Cross has been set by Ghost House Pictures to write The Day of the Triffids, based on the classic sci-fi horror novel written by John Wyndam and the 1962 film Invasion of the Triffids.
In the original film, a meteorite shower produces a glow that blinds anyone looking at it. The majority of the population is left sightless, and prey to the Triffid plants that emerged in spore form from a previous meteor storm.
Mark Gordon, Michael Preger and Don Murphy are partnering with Ghost House principals Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert to produce. Ghost House principals Nathan Kahane and Joe Drake will executive produce alongside Susan Montford.
Cross created and writes the terrific Idris Elba BBC TV drama Luther, and he scripted two Guillermo Del Toro-produced genre films: Mama, staring Jessica Chastain, which is in post-production; and an actioner called Midnight Delivery which is on the fast track. Del Toro also enlisted Cross for a polish on his upcoming giant-budget monster movie Pacific Rim.
Cross is repped by UTA and UK-based Independent Talent Group, and attorney Fred Toczek.