London-based indie producer Nevision has optioned author MG Leonard’s trilogy of children’s books, Beetle Boy, Beetle Queen and the recently released Battle Of The Beetles. Published by Chicken House in the UK and Scholastic in the U.S., Canada and Australia, as well as more than thirty other markets, the books center on thirteen-year-old Darkus Cuttle’s search for his kidnapped father, leading him to discover a mountain of extraordinary beetles and pitting him against the mad-scientist of the fashion world Lucretia Cutter, an haute-couture villainess with an alarming interest in insects. Nevision is developing a live-action adaptation for TV with Leonard writing the screenplay and Nigel Pickard executive producing. Ceri Barnes is Development Executive.
Banijay Group has launched Banijay Studios Italy, led by Massimo Del Frate as Head of Drama. The new operation will focus on high-quality scripted content for local broadcasters and OTT platforms, developing original IP and mining Banijay Group’s global content catalogue for adaptation opportunities as well as entering co-productions. Del Frate joins Banijay from Endemol Shine Italy, where he was Head of Drama, responsible for growing the scripted division from 2002 to 2018. Credits include Rai 1’s Scomparsa, Sorelle, L’Allieva and Provaci Ancora Prof!; and Canale 5’s Le Tre Rose Di Eva and Il Generale Dalla Chiesa.
Warner Bros International Television Production Netherlands has set Michiel Van Der Hoeven to lead all non-scripted activities with Nelsje Musch-Elzinga overseeing all business affairs for both BlazHoffski Productions and WBITVP NL. The moves come as current Managing Director, Sander Emmering, is due to step down on September 1 to pursue new opportunities. Van Der Hoeven, who became MD of Non-scripted in 2015, has worked on such programs as First Dates, Adam Looking For Eve, World’s Most Dangerous Roads, Ilse’s Veranda and Temptation Island. His previous positions include editor-in-chief, executive producer and creative director at Eyeworks Netherlands. Musch-Elzinga has served as Business Director at Blazhoffski Productions for four and a half years, and was previously Head of Productions for the company where she was responsible for a number of successful shows including Tower C, Hello Goodbye and Who Do You Think You Are.