India's Vistaar Gives Greenlight to 'Heidi' Film Trilogy

The project, from the Indian backers of 'The Eichmann Show,' is a co-production with former Working Title Television president Simon Wright's Big Tree Productions.

India's Vistaar Entertainment has announced it will invest in a film trilogy adaptation of Johanna Spyri’s alpine children's classic Heidi, to be co-produced by Big Tree Productions, the shingle run by former Working Title Television president Simon Wright. Goldfinch Entertainment's Kirsty Bell will serve as executive producer.

Vistaar did not give budget details for the three-film project, saying only that the trilogy involved a "multi-million pound investment" on its part. The first film in the trilogy has been tentatively titled Heidi Queen Of The Mountains and will be written by producer-writer Paul Watson, whose TV credits include the James Dean biography Bye Bye Jimmy for ITV.

Queen of the Mountains is set to begin production this year and will be primarily shot on location in the European Alps. It is expected to hit screens by mid-2016.

The project comes as another Heidi feature — from StudioCanal is about to hit theaters. The German-language Heidi, from Swiss director Alain Gsponer, stars Anuk Steffen as Heidi and Downfall actor Bruno Ganz as her grandfather Alpohi. It premieres in Germany on Dec. 3. 

Vistaar has been actively investing in international productions as it moves to expand its footprint outside India. The group recently co-financed The Eichmann Show, which looks at the 1961 televised trial of infamous Nazi Adolf Eichmann. The drama, starring Martin Freeman and Anthony LaPaglia, was recently acquired by the Weinstein Company for U.S. release.

Vistaar's other U.K. co-productions include sci-fi thriller Genesis and The Myth of Hopelessness, both of which are in post. The company's upcoming Indian slate includes Veda, a Hindi adaptation of Hamlet.