The Weinstein Co has secured all U.S. rights, except theatrical, to Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot starring Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman. The 90-minute TV adaptation of the Dahl classic was originally commissioned by BBC One and is produced by Hilary Bevan Jones’ Endor Productions. Hoffman is Mr Hoppy, a retired bachelor who harbors a secret passion for his neighbor, Mrs Silver (Dench). Unfortunately, she lavishes all her affection on Alfie… her pet tortoise. The project came around about a year ago and is now in post-production. Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer penned the adaptation with Dearbhla Walsh (Little Dorrit) directing.
TWC’s pick up is another sign of its TV ambitions and increasing ties to the British industry. In the past year it has acquired BBC Two drama Peaky Blinders, and is revving up production on the six-part adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic War And Peace with BBC Worldwide and Look Out Point. It’s also partnered with the BBC and Look Out on Stan And Ollie, a 90-minute TV movie about Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy’s 1953 UK tour that’s written by Philomena‘s Jeff Pope.
The deal for Esio Trot was negotiated by Robert Walak, Negeen Yazdi and Michal Steinberg for TWC and with Caroline Kusser for Red Arrow International.