Legendary Entertainment and The Spanish Princess showrunners Emma Frost and Matthew Graham have launched the joint-venture production company Watford & Essex, which is already in development with 10 projects, including a remake of ABC’s 1960s TV series Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.
The new outfit will be based in Bristol, south-west England, and has hired Christine Healy, the head of production at Catherine The Great producer New Pictures, as its chief operating officer. It will work with Legendary’s TV division, which is behind shows including Amazon’s Carnival Row, to develop projects with international scale. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Frost and Graham’s The Spanish Princess is currently airing on Starz and follows The White Princess and The White Queen. Frost’s other credits include penning the screenplay for Ron Howard’s Jennifer Lawrence movie Zelda, while she has worked on TV shows including The Man in the High Castle and The Tunnel. Graham co-created the iconic BBC series Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes.
Together, they have 10 projects in development, not least the reimagining of Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, which will be written by BAFTA-nominated duo Chris Lunt and Michael Walker (Devils; Young Wallander). Other projects include:
- Hail, Satan!: Dark social comedy for Channel 4 created by Frost and Graham
- Championess: TV series based on forthcoming Legendary Comics graphic novel an 18th century female bare-knuckle boxer
- Roxana: Dark and funny parable about female identity, adapted from the Daniel Defoe novel by Frost
- Matilda: Medieval female-driven political adventure series created by Graham
- Heat: Original YA drama set on a London housing estate, created by Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre
- The Alice (working title): Australian family medical drama, created by Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars)
- Amazonia: Environmental thriller from Misha Glenny (McMafia); BBC broadcaster and journalist Kirsty Lang; and Robert Muggah and Ilona Szabo of the Rio-based Igarapé Institute.
- Baghdad Central writer Stephen Butchard and Killing Eve scribe Rob Williams are also developing original series with Watford & Essex
“With Legendary’s success, talent and experience behind us, we’re confident that we can make some great, hit shows and have a blast doing it! TV continues to enjoy a golden age of creative diversity and risk,” said Frost and Graham.
Chris Albrecht, managing director of Legendary Television, added: “We are thrilled to launch this new venture with Emma and Matthew, who have proven time and time again to be masterful storytellers, and to develop a slate of international projects that foster diversity and nurture both young and accomplished creative talent alike.”
Frost and Graham are represented by Alex Kohner at Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein & Kohner Entertainment Law in the U.S. In the UK, Frost is repped by Curtis Brown. Graham is represented by Valerie Hoskins Associates.