NBCUniversal International Networks has acquired The Outpost, an original fantasy adventure series that will air on Syfy channels outside the U.S. Stargate co-writer and producer Dean Devlin, and Stargate SG-1 showrunner/exec producer Jonathan Glassner are exec producers of the series created by Arrowstorm Entertainment’s Kynan Griffin and Jason Faller (Mythica). Production begins today in Utah on the story of Talon, (Roman Empire‘s Jessica Green) who is the lone survivor of a race called “Blackbloods.” When she sets off to the edge of civilization to track her family’s killers, she discovers she possesses a mysterious supernatural power that she must learn to control.
Jake Stormoen (Extinct), Andrew Howard (Hatfields And McCoys), Anand Desai-Barochia (Emmerdale), Robyn Malcolm (Top Of The Lake) and Kristian Nairn (Game Of Thrones) also star. The Outpost will air on Syfy in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Latin America, Poland, the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa and Australia from late 2018. Devlin’s Electric Entertainment will handle sales to non-Syfy territories (outside the U.S.) at NATPE and Berlin.
IQiyi, the Chinese streaming service owned by Baidu, is said to have confidentially filed for a U.S. IPO. According to Reuters’ IFR, sources say the platform is looking to raise $1B sometime around the end of the first quarter or beginning of the second this year. IQiyi has been eyeing an IPO for some time. In September it was reported that an offering would value the company at $8B-$10B. It has deals with Netflix, Lionsgate, Warner Bros, Fox, NBCU and the BFI.
Bollywood epic Padmavati, now titled Padmaavat, has been set for worldwide release on January 25. From Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions, this is the Deepika Padukone-starrer that sparked a furor in India, inciting violence and death threats. The film originally had a December date, but that was delayed amid the upset. The classification board has now cleared it with five modifications. Padukone plays Rani Padmavati in the film that’s based on Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic 16th century poem Padmavat. There was initial confusion over perceived historical inaccuracies and a false rumor that the movie contained offensive sexual content. Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh also star. The film will also be released in Tamil and Telugu, in addition to Hindi, although some Indian states including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are refusing to show it. Paramount is releasing the film in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. The producers took out full-page ads this week in India to tell folks “Padmavat is a film that every Indian will be proud of.”
Julian Ashworth, BT’s Global Director of Policy Strategy, is joining ITV as Director of Group Strategy and Direct to Consumer, which encompasses the Online and Interactive businesses. Ashworth has extensive experience in international strategy, analytics and digital transformation with consumer and TMT focused companies. He has led the development of BT’s group-wide strategy across a broad range of key policy priorities in media, internet and digital infrastructure over the past five years. He joins ITV next month.