Narrativia, the production company launched by Sir Terry Pratchett, is looking to expand the Discworld universe after striking a development deal with Endeavor Content and UK-based producer Motive Pictures.
This comes after BBC America ordered The Watch, an eight-part series based on Pratchett’s Discworld novels. This series is produced by BBC Studios, although it sounds like the production arm of the British public broadcaster may not be involved in the Pratchett universe for long.
Narrativia, Endeavor Content and Motive Pictures, which is backed by the Endeavor-content division and run by Channel 4’s head of international drama Simon Maxwell, have made it clear that they will have an “exclusive” relationship going forward to create “truly authentic” Discworld screen adaptations.
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The trio noted that they will bring the books to screens in a series of adaptation that “remain absolutely faithful” to Pratchett’s original vision.
The books, which number 41 stories and have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, take place on a flat planet known as Discworld, which is balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle. The series began in 1983 with The Colour of Magic and continued until the final novel The Shepherd’s Crown was published in 2015, following Pratchett’s death. The deal today, was announced, on his birthday. The books frequently parody or take inspiration from J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare, as well as mythology, folklore and fairy tales, often paying homage to them with satirical parallels of cultural, political and scientific issues.
The deal was struck by Rob Wilkins of Narrativia and Simon Maxwell of Motive Pictures, with Endeavor Content. Executive Producers for Motive Pictures will be Maxwell and Sam Lavender, and Endeavor Content will handle worldwide sales.
Pratchett’s Narrativia was launched in 2012. The company owns and controls the exclusive multimedia and merchandising rights to all of the author’s works. Last year, Narrativia saw the release of Good Omens with Amazon Studios and BBC Studios, based on the internationally bestselling novel by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
Rhianna Pratchett, Co-Director of Narrativia, said, “Discworld teems with unique characters, witty narrative and incredible literary tropes, and we feel these should be realised on screen in a form that my father would be proud of. It’s wonderful to embark on this journey with Motive and Endeavor Content, who both perfectly share our vision to make this a reality.”
Simon Maxwell, CEO of Motive Pictures added, “Discworld is a national treasure and we are thrilled to be forging this new partnership with Narrativia and Endeavor Content. Together we will produce shows that will be loved by millions of Discworld fans worldwide, whilst also opening up Sir Terry Pratchett’s epic creations and legacy to new audiences. We launched Motive to make high quality British shows with global scale and impact and I can think of nothing that exemplifies that ambition more than this hugely exciting partnership.”
Lorenzo De Maio, Head of TV Advisory for Endeavor Content said, “We are honoured to bring Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld to the screen, in partnership with best-in-class producers Narrativia and Motive Pictures. Discworld is a masterpiece of storytelling, and we look forward to working with our partners to bring it to audiences worldwide.”
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