EXCLUSIVE: Landmark Studio Group, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, has partnered with District 33 (BlackBalled) to develop and produce Shadows in the Vineyard, a limited event drama series based on journalist Maximillian Potter’s bestselling book Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison The World’s Greatest Wine, with Noah Wyle and Judith Light attached to star and executive produce. Production is expected to begin in Q1 2021 in Europe.
Written by John Newman (Get Shorty, Proud Mary), Peter Cambor and Potter, Shadows in the Vineyard is set against the backdrop of the gorgeous, rolling countryside of the Côte-d’Or in Burgundy, France. The series is based on the true story of the outlandish 2010 plot-by-poison extortion scheme, a sinister criminal conspiracy that targeted the most sought-after and expensive wine in the world – the legendary Romanée-Conti — as featured in Potter’s book.
“This is a fascinating crime story, but it’s really a love story,” Potter said. “I went to Burgundy not knowing or caring a thing about wine; I went to report on a crime, but I fell in love with Burgundy. When I was losing faith in the world and my fellow man, burned out by the ugliness I had been covering as a journalist, Burgundy came out of nowhere and restored my faith in life, in humanity. The world needs to know a place and a people like Burgundy exists as it gives us all hope and something to aspire to. Maybe now more than ever.”
Cambor and Sam Widdoes will executive produce for District 33, along with Potter, Newman, Light, Wyle, Christopher Cole and Landmark’s David Ozer and Tim Rouhana. Landmark will market the series, which will be distributed by Screen Media.
“Shadows in the Vineyard is rife with rich characters and a compelling narrative that will take viewers on a twisted tale of both a shocking who-done-it mystery and a journey of self-discovery that will resonate with a global audience,” stated Landmark’s Ozer. “With Maximillian, John, Peter and Sam leading the charge of capturing the heart of the story for the screen, along with the star talents of Judith and Noah and a beautiful location to create the ambience, we have no doubt that this series, which has spinoff potential, will be a hit.”
Wyle headlines the upcoming Leverage revival on IMDb TV. Following his 15-season run on ER, Wyle toplined the TNT sci-fi drama series Falling Skies, which ran for five seasons and where he made his directorial debut. He also starred in CBS’ The Red Line.
Light co-stars on Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series The Politician. She also starred in the Golden Globe-winning Amazon series Transparent and FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which earned her a supporting actress Emmy nomination.
The deal was brokered by Danny Sussman at Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Gersh, ICM Partners, and Larry Weissman at Larry Weissman Literary Agency.