Beta Film Eyeing Markus Heitz' 'Dwarves' Fantasy Books for One-Hour Series

German group a co-producer on Tom Fontana's Netflix series "Borgia" and upcoming Cineflix Media production "Copper."

CANNES -- German production/sales group Beta Film has secured the rights to Markus Heitz' best-selling fantasy franchise Dwarves with an eye to turning the material into a high-end, one-hour  series.

Beta has gotten a taste for the one-hour format as the co-producer and world sales agent on Tom Fontana's historic epic Borgia, which Netflix recently picked up for the U.S., and on Fontana's new New York police series Copper, which Cineflix Media is producing together with BBC America.

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Heintz's four Dwarves novels have been best-sellers in his native Germany and have moved some 1.5 million copies worldwide. They are set in a fantasy world akin to The Lord of the Rings with similar magical creatures such as orcs, trolls, orges and, of course, dwarves. 

Beta is developing the Dwarves books into a series together with German production company Hoffman & Voges, who originally secured the book rights with an eye to adapting them into TV movies.

The project, which Beta is shopping to potential co-production partners at MIPCOM, will be English-language and is initially planned as 10-12 one-hour episodes.