10:37am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Starz, BBC to Co-Produce Family Thriller 'The Missing'
Three months after Starz dropped out of Sky Atlantic co-production Fortitude, the network is teaming with the BBC for family drama The Missing.
The eight-episode drama is being billed as a limited series and hails from writers Harry and Jack Williams (Honest) and directed by Ripper Street's Tom Shankland. It centers on Tony (The Hobbit's James Nesbitt) as a man devastated by the abduction of his young son, Oliver, during a family vacation in France. Unable to accept that his child may be dead, he spends years searching for him at the expense of his marriage to Emily (Mr. Selfridge's Frances O'Connor). Tcheky Karyo (The Patriot) leads the supporting cast as a French police detective; Jason Flemyng, Ken Stott, Arsher Ali, Said Taghmaoui, Emilie Dequenne, Anamaria Marinca, Eric Godon, Anastasia Hille and Johan Leysen co-star.
The thriller will be told simultaneously over multiple time frames and will be set in France and London. The drama will air on BBC One in the U.K. and on Starz in the U.S. in the fall. All3Media International funded development of The Missing and will retain all U.S. rights not obtained by Starz.
New Pictures' Charlie Pattinson, Willow Grylls and Elaine Pyke, John Yorke for Company Pictures (part of the All3Media group), Harry and Jack Williams for Two Brothers Pictures, Polly Hill for the BBC, Colin Callender for Playground and Eurydice Gysel for Czar TV will executive produce. Chris Clough will produce. The series was commissioned by BBC One controller Charlotte Moore and BBC drama commissioning controller Ben Stephenson. The Missing is co-produced with Fortis Film Fund, Czar TV Productions and VRT and will film in Brussels, Belgium.
"The Missing is a powerful and poignant story about a father’s determination to find his missing child, and that is something any viewer can understand," Starz managing director Carmi Zlotnik said. "The Williams’ scripts gripped us on every page, and we are glad to be working in partnership again with the BBC, Charlie Pattinson and Colin Callender on this very special project."
The project marks the latest co-production between Starz and the BBC, who in 2011 inked a multiyear production deal to co-develop and co-finance multiple series.
The Missing will join a roster of original programming that includes Black Sails, DaVinci's Demons, Power, Outlander, Flesh and Bone and comedy Survivor's Remorse. Starz in December pulled out of Sky Atlantic co-production Fortitude.