BBC Two has ordered Dave Allen At Peace, a dramatization of the life and career of the Irishman who was once considered Britain’s most controversial comedian. Game Of Thrones and Peaky Blinders‘ Aidan Gillen is set to star. The biopic of the Dublin-born Allen will be produced by Darlow Smithson Productions and written by Stephen Russell (We’re Doomed: The Dad’s Army Story, Peaky Blinders). Covering Allen’s 40-year career, it will explore how his comedy genius was shaped by the tragic loss of his father, his brother — and his finger — and how he survived decades of the Roman Catholic Church’s wrath, death threats from the IRA and a ban by Irish and Australian TV. Also starring are Conleth Hill (Game Of Thrones), Tommy Tiernan (Father Ted) and Joanne Crawford (Line Of Duty). Shooting starts this month in Northern Ireland with Northern Ireland Screen and RTE as partners on the project. Gillen is repped by Greene & Associates Talent Agency, Coronel Group, McKuin, Frankel & Whitehead in the U.S. and Independent Talent Group in the UK.
HBO Nordic has greenlit its first Scandinavian original with Gosta from Swedish filmmaker Lukas Moodysson. He wrote and will direct the eight-episode series about a 28-year-old child psychologist who gets his first job in a small rural town and wants to be the kindest person in the world, helping everyone he meets. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes not. “I want Gosta to be a mix of comedy and Dostoevsky; as funny as possible and as serious as possible,” says Moodysson who is best known for 1998 breakout Show Me Love (F***ing Amal) as well as Together, Lilya 4-Ever and We Are The Best!. Memfis Film produces Gosta with TrustNordisk handling international sales outside HBO Europe territories. The series is expected to premiere in 2019.
ITV has ordered family drama Butterfly from writer Tony Marchant and starring Anna Friel. RED Production Company is producing the story of an 11-year-old boy who makes the huge decision that he wants to live life as a girl — he has always dressed as one at home, but now he doesn’t want to hide who he is. Friel (Marcella, The Girlfriend Experience) plays his mom. Marchant’s credits include The Secret Agent, Leaving, Public Enemies, Garrow’s Law, Great Expectations and the BAFTA winning Mark Of Cain. Butterfly will be produced by Louise Sutton and directed by Anthony Byrne. Friel will also co-produce the mini which will be filmed in Manchester during the early part of 2018.