FremantleMedia International has partnered with Working Title Television and Silver Reel TV to take the international distribution rights for The Luminaries. The six-part drama is written by the award-winning novelist Eleanor Catton, and being produced by Working Title Television in association with FremantleMedia and Silver Reel, for BBC Two.
Based on the Man Booker prize-winning novel, The Luminaries is a 19th century love story of cosmic dimensions. Full of adventure and mystery, the story is set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the boom years of the 1860s gold rush and follows the young lovers, Anna Wetherell and Emery Staines whose romantic first encounter whilst on sail from London to New Zealand fills them with great expectations for what lies ahead.
The Luminaries tells an epic story of love, murder and revenge, as men and women travelled across the world to make their fortunes.
The Luminaries’ six hour-long episodes will be produced by Working Title Television for BBC Two and distributed by FremantleMedia International in association with Silver Reel. The series will be executive produced by Eleanor Catton, Andrew Woodhead, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for Working Title Television, Mona Qureshi for the BBC, Christian Vesper for FremantleMedia and Claudia Bluemhuber for Silver Reel. Eleanor Catton is represented by United Agents.
Rebecca Dundon, Director of Acquisitions for FremantleMedia International said: “This story from the brilliantly talented Eleanor Catton, perfectly illustrates the types of projects that we are looking to add to our distinctive collection of dramas. With an intricately woven tale of alluring characters, surprise twists and an immaculate storyline, The Luminaries will be captivating viewing for audiences all around the world.”
Andrew Woodhead, Managing Director of Working Title Television, said: “I’m very grateful to the BBC, FremantleMedia and Silver Reel for their passion and commitment to this beautiful and magical story and their support in bringing The Luminaries to life as a stunning piece of television. Working with Eleanor on our adaptation is such a privilege, she is an exceptional talent as novelist and now screenwriter.”
Claudia Bluemhuber, Managing Partner of Silver Reel TV said: “This captivating story reflects today’s Zeitgeist of a strong female character finding her way and voice in the times when women were not yet in a position to make their own decisions for their lives. Eleanor Catton is an extremely talented writer and has managed to create what we believe is an outstanding cinematic vision for this series. Silver Reel’s TV ambitions are to work on projects that enable us to bring our cinematic language and high production values to the small screen. With Working Title and FremantleMedia International, we have found great partners to do exactly that.”
On publishing, The Luminaries was met with worldwide critical acclaim and made Eleanor Catton the youngest recipient of the prestigious Man Booker Prize. Born in Canada and raised in New Zealand, The Luminaries is Catton’s second title following debut novel The Rehearsal (2008), which was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize, and long-listed for the Orange Prize.