Allison Pataki ‘Sisi’ Novels On Austrian Empress Set For Series

Howard Books

Picture Perfect Federation, the company recently launched by Patrick Wachsberger’s Picture Perfect Entertainment, has teamed with Pascal Breton’s Federation Entertainment to acquire Allison Pataki’s two bestselling novels — The Accidental Empress and Sisi: Empress on Her Own — to be developed as a series on the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. She was considered the Princes Diana of her time and still widely known throughout Europe.

Picture Perfect Federation will handle worldwide distribution with Michael Shamberg’s MAS Production exec producing along with the author. The series will be a thoroughly female driven period piece with a modern spin. It’s about a strong woman’s journey to accept and embrace her power in order to make her mark and live on her own terms in a male dominated world. Wide in scope with rich period details, this premium drama spanning from 1853 up until the start of World War I will offer a captivating glimpse into the bedrooms and staterooms of one of history’s most intriguing eras and Europe’s most powerful royal family.

This will be the first international television series about the unconventional Empress, who was unexpectedly thrust into the center of Europe’s most treacherous imperial court at the age of 15 when she unwittingly stole the heart of her sister’s fiancé, Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi’s legend became a European obsession thanks to the performance of Romy Schneider in the 1955 movie Sissi, one of the most successful German-language movies of all time.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Allison and Michael to treat audiences to the inspiring life story of Empress Elisabeth,” said Wachsberger. “Sisi was a woman ahead of her time and indelibly made her mark with dignity and grace.”

Said Breton: The romantic yet tragic destiny of Empress Sisi is almost as well-known as that of the Queen of England. Patrick, Michael and I hope we can attract top global talent to bring this legendary story back to life, and at the same time reveal a young actress as a new global star.”

Shamberg said that “the story of Sisi was a childhood favorite of my Head of Development Alexandra Zimbler Smith who grew up in Europe and is a French citizen. She will executive produce with me along with my other executive, Ameet Shukla. Alexandra suggested Sisi as an international TV series because of the story’s timeless appeal, particularly in an era of female empowerment. Right away I brought it to my old friend, Patrick, and his new company Picture Perfect Federation, who are the perfect partners for this.”

Pataki is a former news writer and producer who also wrote The Traitor’s Wife, Where the Light Falls, and the memoir Beauty in the Broken Places. She’s repped by Lacy Lynch of Dupree/Miller and Lucy Stille of APA.

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