Pier 21 Films Re-Ups First-Look Deal With Entertainment One

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TORONTO – Entertainment One has renewed its deal with Laszlo Barna's Pier 21 Films.

Barna's production shingle, based in Toronto, has been associated with eOne since the indie studio bought his Barna Alper Productions in 2008.

The veteran Canadian film and TV producer then left eOne in early 2011 to launch Pier 21 Films, with a first-look deal in hand.

"I'm very happy about it," Barna told The Hollywood Reporter about his ongoing partnership with eOne.

"It's like we're family. I left there on good terms," he said. "And they are a very integrated company."

"We're delighted to continue our longstanding relationship with the unique and powerful storyteller, Laszlo Barna," said Margaret O'Brien, president, Canada and COO of eOne Television.

Barna has also partnered with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo director Niels Arden Oplev to turn a family memoir, Enemies of the People, by former ABC globe-trotting reporter Kati Marton, into a feature film.

Pier 21 Films closed a deal for the rights to Marton's true-life Cold War thriller about her parents being spied on and imprisoned in 1950s Hungary during the Stalinist era. 

Marton's family then made a new life for themselves in America.

Screenwriter Alan DiFiore, who has worked on earlier Barna-produced TV series like Da Vinci's Inquest, Hard Time: The David Milgaard Story and The Bridge, is adapting Enemies of the People for Arden Oplev to direct.

Pier 21 Films is looking to develop the feature project as a Denmark-Canada-Hungary co-production.

On the TV front, the Canadian producer is developing The Story, a drama about investigative journalists by veteran scribes Susan Coyne and Malcolm MacRury, for the CBC.

Pier 21 Films is also developing for CTV the sci-fi series Strain, from screenwriter Craig David Wallace and about a brother and sister who learn the truth behind surprising lies when they inherit their mother’s science-fiction-writing empire.

Also for CTV, Pier 21 Films is developing Mortal Coil, a drama about a coroner who performs autopsies and investigates the murders, from screenwriter Dennis Heaton.

And the producer has a one-hour procedural, Foxe, written by actor Rick Roberts and playwright Michael Healey, parked in development with Shaw Media.

Pier 21 Films has also started shooting the second season of Treasures Decoded, a co-production with the U.K.'s Blink Films for History Television in Canada, Discovery U.K., Smithsonian Channel, France 5 and Australia’s SBS.

Niels Arden Oplev is represented by Resolution and Curtis Brown.

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