BBC Studios Strikes First-Look Deal With International Literary Properties

Hilary Strong, Scott Hoffman - H - 2020
Credit: ILP

The literary management company acquired the estates of 12 authors this month.

International Literary Properties, the newly former London- and New York-based company that this month acquired the estates of 12 late authors, has signed a first-look deal with BBC Studios, marking its first major production partnership. 

Under the deal, announced Tuesday, BBC Studios Production, the production arm of BBC Studios, and its portfolio of independent producers can explore the intellectual property owned and managed by ILP. 

Set up last year, the company holds the rights for authors including Georges Simenon, Eric Ambler, Margery Allingham, Edmund Crispin, Dennis Wheatley, Robert Bolt, Richard Hull, George Bellairs, Nicolas Freeling, John Creasey and Michael Innes as well as 20 percent of Evelyn Waugh's estate.

"This first-look deal with BBC Studios provides ILP with the perfect global creative partner to promote Britain's heritage in literature and rediscover these classic works through modern adaptations for a global audience," said Hilary Strong, the former CEO of the Agatha Christie estate who serves as U.K. CEO for ILP. Scott Hoffman is group CEO and heads up the New York business. 

"BBC Studios and its partner scripted production companies provide us with a very exciting opportunity to not only fast-track these works into production, but to make them with the high-end production values they deserve," added Strong. "Our creative team headed up by Emma Bell and Andy Brunskill will be producing creative bibles for each estate, providing producers with a detailed catalogue highlighting the opportunities they hold for screen adaptation. We look forward to developing the production partnerships this deal promotes."

Said Mark Linsey, chief creative officer for BBC Studios: "BBC Studios exists to champion the very best of British creativity, telling stories which resonate with audiences around the world. Literary classics are timeless, and in the right creative hands can be adapted to feel contemporary and of the moment. We look actively for partnerships and collaborations which showcase British talent at its finest, and we're excited about the creative opportunities that this deal provides, both for BBC Studios Production and our portfolio of independent producers."