Me+You Productions, the producer of Sky comedy Sick of It, has teamed with director Justin Chadwick, who helmed the Idris Elba-fronted Nelson Mandela biopic Long Walk To Freedom, on the story of a young British boy diagnosed with a severe brain tumor.
The indie, which recently struck a U.S. representation deal with WME, has secured exclusive access to the family of Ashya King and is now developing a three-part, fact-based drama that explores their story,
Saving Ashya is the story of a young British boy who was diagnosed with a severe brain tumor in 2014. Against medical advice, his parents ‘abducted’ him from his NHS hospital bed and fled to Europe for alternative proton therapy. The resulting international manhunt sparked a huge media frenzy. Ashya’s parents were publicly criticized and incarcerated, causing the UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, to personally intervene. Now free of cancer, Ashya’s case has subsequently changed the NHS’ treatment of children with such tumors.
Me+You has billed Saving Ashya as ‘a state of the nation’ series that explores the question of who knows what’s best for children: their parents or the state. Chadwick will direct a script written by Paul Viragh (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), while Me+You’s co-founders Richard Yee and Krishnendu Majumdar exec produce, along with Chadwick. The producer is Josh Hyams (The Look of Love).
Brett King, father of Ashya King, said, “This is a great opportunity for us to tell the whole story. It will be a chance for everyone to understand the difficult decisions and choices we had to make. Without wishing to spoil the ending of the TV drama, Ashya is now doing brilliantly well, which goes to show we were right to take the actions we did. We’ve had lots of offers to turn our experience into a TV drama and we’re now confident we’re in great hands. We’re excited to see the final production.”
Majumdar said, “We are honored that the King family has entrusted us with their incredible story and we are excited to be working with the cinematic talents of Justin and Paul to bring it to the screen.”
Chadwick added, “This emotional true-life story throws the audience into the heart of a frightening and real situation. At what lengths would you go to save an ill child? Seen from the family and the health workers’ point of view, this story caught world attention and the controversy that surrounds it makes for a challenging, breath-taking modern drama. I’m excited to work with Paul and Me+You Productions, who have a great track record of making relevant contemporary stories that reflect the times we live in.”