Amazon In Advanced Talks For ‘Strange New Things’; Kevin MacDonald Directing, Matt Charman Writing For Left Bank

Photograph by Eric Schwabel for AwardsLine

EXCLUSIVE: Amazon is in advanced talks to come onboard Strange New Things, an event sci-fi TV series that Kevin MacDonald is directing, Matt Charman is writing and Left Bank Pictures is producing. The project is an adaptation of Michel Faber’s The Book Of Strange New Things, which was critically praised upon its release in 2014, with the Guardian newspaper calling it, “astonishing and deeply affecting.”

Iconic musician Brian Eno will provide the series’ music and soundscape. The project, the first season of which is likely to be 10 episodes, is intended to be a returning series.

Book Of Strange New ThingsThe story revolves around Peter Leigh, an English pastor who embarks on the journey of a lifetime into deep space that takes him light years away from his beloved wife, Bea. While the project’s scale is believed to be epic, described as “Heart Of Darkness in space,” at its center is a heart-wrenching love story of a husband and wife with the universe between them.

The buzzy project is aiming to go into production by the end of the year. The finishing touches are being put on the Amazon deal but this would be a major statement of intent for the content arm of the e-commerce giant. Last November, Amazon commissioned The Collection, its first original UK drama series, from producers Lookout Point, who also co-produced BBC-TWC epic adaptation War And Peace. The eight-episode series was created by Pretty Little Liars and Ugly Betty exec producer Oliver Goldstick, in association with BBC Worldwide. The show tells the story of an illustrious Paris fashion house (think: Dior) just after World War II.

Conversely, Left Bank, which is majority owned by Sony, exec produced Netflix’s $100 million original TV drama The Crown, the Peter Morgan-scripted look at Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Left Bank’s Andy Harries and Lila Rawlings will exec produce along with Charman and MacDonald.

This is gearing up to be one of the most ambitious TV projects ever to emanate from the UK. Charman is the man with the golden touch right now, following on from his breakthrough work on Steven Spielberg’s Bridge Of Spies. He is working with Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson and Fox 2000 on YA-inflected Wilderness. He has written a heist film for Matt Reeves at Fox with Reeves and Tobey Maguire producing. He has also sold Lethal, a TV pitch to CBS with Carl Beverly and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones producing. Charman’s three-parter Black Work aired on ITV last year to strong reviews and ratings. Charman is repped by CAA, Grandview and attorney Gretchen Rush of Hansen, Jacobson.

Oscar-winning director Macdonald and producer Simon Chinn and his Lightbox Media partner Jonathan Chinn announced today they are partnering with producer Lisa Erspamer on a feature documentary about late singer Whitney Houston. Billed as the official documentary, the film will take a revealing look at the life and genius of the global superstar. Macdonald is repped by WME and United Agents.

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