David Tennant Joins Sky’s ‘The Amazing Maurice’
Former Doctor Who star David Tennant will join Hugh Laurie and Emilia Clarke in the cast of Sky’s The Amazing Maurice, an upcoming adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s best-selling children’s fantasy novel. It will mark the actor’s second turn in a Pratchett project, following on from his role as demon Crowley in 2019’s Good Omens from Amazon Studios. As well as Tennant, Sky confirmed additional cast for the project including Rob Brydon (Roald & Beatrix: The Tale of the Curious Mouse), Julie Atherton (Avenue Q), and YouTuber Joe Sugg. David Thewlis, Himesh Patel, Gemma Arterton and Hugh Bonneville also star. Story follows Maurice, a streetwise ginger cat who comes up with a money-making scam by befriending a group of self-taught talking rats. The con doesn’t go as planned when they meet a bookworm called Malicia. The project is co-produced by Sky, Ulysses Filmproduktion and Cantilever Media in partnership with Global Screen, Hamburg-based animation studios Studio Rakete and Red Star Animation. Toby Genkel directs with Florian Westermann from a screenplay by Terry Rossio. Project is set to be released on Sky Cinema and streaming service NOW in 2022.
HBO Max Greenlights Spanish-Language Original Series ‘García’
HBO Max has greenlit Spanish-language original series García based on the graphic novel of the same name by Santiago Garcia and Luis Bustos. The news comes ahead of HBO Max’s launch in Europe later this year. Sara Antuña and Carlos de Pando are co-creators and writers for the series and Eugenio Mira (Grand Piano) will direct all six episodes. Story is set in present-day Spain, which is on the brink of political chaos and follows young investigative reporter Antonia (Veki Velilla) who stumbles on a decades-old conspiracy: the existence of a cryogenically-frozen super-agent García (Francisco Oritz), created in a laboratory in the 1950s by General Franco’s fascist secret services. Series is produced by Zeta Studios for WarnerMedia in Spain and will bow on HBO Max in 2022.
Channel 4 Axes ‘The Circle’
Channel 4 has pulled the plug on catfishing reality show The Circle after three series. A spokesperson for Channel 4 said: “The Circle has been a huge hit for young audiences and has grown successfully over three seasons on Channel 4, consistently outperforming slot averages. We’re incredibly proud to have worked with Studio Lambert North and Motion Content Group to invest in such an innovative show and to have given it a springboard for its international format success. In the same way as when we originally commissioned The Circle, Channel 4 has a responsibility to continually look at how we reinvent and create space for new ideas, and so we have decided not to commission the show for a fourth season.” The show, which was hosted by Emma Willis since the second series, sees a group of contestants communicate via a social media platform where they can play themselves or catfish as someone else. The second season of the U.S. version is currently streaming on Netflix.
UK’s IWC Schaffhausen Bursary Award Winners Must Meet BFI Diversity Standards
The British Film Institute and IWC Schaffhausen have announced its annual IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award, given in association with the UK film organization, will return in 2021 with a strong focus on representation and inclusion. For the first time since the award was launched six years ago, all films applying for the Bursary Award will have now to meet the BFI Diversity Standards. The decision aims to support opportunity for underrepresented filmmakers in the industry and raise awareness of the drive towards greater inclusion in the UK film sector. At £50,000 ($70,000), the prize is one of the most significant bursaries of its kind in the UK. The winner will be announced at this year’s BFI London Film Festival, which runs October 6-17.
BBC Studios Int’l Prods Signs First-Look Deal With Doc Filmmaker Alex Gale
BBC Studios International Production has signed a first-look development deal with documentary filmmaker Alex Gale. The deal will see Gale co-develop non-scripted content with BBC Studios’ local production houses in Australia, India, South Africa and Germany. BBC Studios will produce and distribute the developed programs internationally. Gale is the founder of Amped Pictures and directed Amazon Prime’s Sons of the Soil for BBC Studios India. That docuseries followed the fortunes of Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan and his pro kabaddi team across a season in India’s fastest growing sport. Gale’s previous work includes BAFTA Scotland-winning BBC documentaries Scotland 87: A Love Story, Glasgow 1967: The Lisbon Lions and RTS Scotland-winning The Fort.