Former Kudos founder and exec chairman Stephen Garrett is launching a new production company, Character Seven. The new company is already making moves by teaming with Lionsgate and Twilight author Stephenie Meyer’s Fickle Fish on The Rook, a London-set supernatural series for Hulu.
Garrett, who is one of the UK’s most-respected TV execs, is also deep in post on the John Le Carre-adaptation The Night Manager, starring Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Elizabeth Debicki. The 6 part series will be shown on BBC in March and AMC in the US in April. That project in being produced in partnership with The Ink Factory.
Adapted by David Farr and directed by Susanne Bier, the miniseries marks the first television adaptation of a le Carré novel in more than 20 years. It follows former British soldier Jonathan Pine (Hiddleston), who is recruited by an intelligence operative named Burr (Colman) to navigate the shadowy recesses of Whitehall and Washington, where an unholy alliance operates between the intelligence community and the secret arms trade. To infiltrate the inner circle of lethal arms dealer Richard Onslow Roper (Laurie), which includes girlfriend Jed (Debicki) and an associate named Corcoran (Hollander), Pine must himself become a criminal.
Exec producers are Stephen Cornwell and Simon Cornwell for The Ink Factory, Garrett, David Farr, and Polly Hill for the BBC.
Garrett, who co-founded Kudos in 1992 and was later joint managing director with Jane Featherstone, oversaw a run of hits including Spooks, Hustle and Life on Mars. As a film producer and executive producer, his credits include Eastern Promises, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
“There is no longer a barrier between television story-telling and film story-telling,” commented Stephen Garrett. “The creative talent is flowing both ways and it respects neither national boundaries nor the size of the screen. I have always been excited by new types of story and new ways of telling them. With Character Seven I hope I can take this passion to the next level.”
Of the relationship with The Ink Factory, Garrett added, “I have enormously enjoyed my partnership with the Cornwells. They share both my love for storytelling and my desire to nurture new voices, as well as old. The fact that le Carré inspired my desire to first develop Spooks means that everything has come full circle.”
“It’s been thrilling to work on The Night Manager with Stephen Garrett,” said Simon Cornwell. “His combination of deep experience, creative insight and instinctive understanding of the evolution of the medium has brought something very special to the production. We are delighted to see Character Seven emerge as what will undoubtedly be a strong and innovative force in television on both sides of the Atlantic.’