International Literary Properties & BBC Studios Set First-Look Deal


A few weeks after it acquired rights to 12 notable author estates, London/New York management outfit International Literary Properties has set a first-look deal with BBC Studios. Under the pact, both BBC Studios Production and its portfolio of independent producers will have the opportunity to explore the intellectual property owned and managed by ILP for screen adaptation.

Formed in November 2019, ILP was set up to acquire rights in literary estates from authors and their heirs and to exploit those rights through all media platforms including TV, film and theater. The BBC Studios deal is the first major production partnership announced by ILP.

ILP currently holds the rights for authors including Georges Simenon, Eric Ambler, Margery Allingham, Edmund Crispin, Dennis Wheatley, Robert Bolt, Richard Hull, George Bellairs, Nicolas Freeling, John Creasey and Michael Innes as well as 20% of Evelyn Waugh’s estate.

Chaired in the UK by CEO Hilary Strong (formerly CEO of the Agatha Christie estate), and Anthology Group founder, Bob Benton, ILP’s New York-headquartered business is led by Scott Hoffman as Group CEO and Ted Green as Executive Chairman.

Says Strong, “This first look deal with BBC Studios provides ILP with the perfect global creative partner to promote Britain’s heritage in literature and re- discover these classic works through modern adaptations for a global audience. BBC Studios and its partner scripted production companies provide us with a very exciting opportunity to not only fast-track these works into production, but to make them with the high-end production values they deserve. Our creative team headed up by Emma Bell and Andy Brunskill will be producing creative bibles for each estate providing producers with a detailed catalogue highlighting the opportunities they hold for screen adaptation. We look forward to developing the production partnerships this deal promotes.”

Mark Linsey, Chief Creative Officer for BBC Studios, adds, “BBC Studios exists to champion the very best of British creativity, telling stories which resonate with audiences around the world. Literary classics are timeless, and in the right creative hands can be adapted to feel contemporary and of the moment. We look actively for partnerships and collaborations which showcase British talent at its finest, and we’re excited about the creative opportunities that this deal provides, both for BBC Studios Production and our portfolio of Independent producers.”

The deal was brokered by Hilary Strong at ILP and Martin Rakusen for BBC Studios.

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