Michael Caton-Jones to Direct 'Pillars of the Earth' Sequel

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Scott Free is among the producers of the eight-part "World Without End," which starts principal photography in July.

COLOGNE, Germany – Director Michael Caton-Jones (Rob Roy, The Jackal) has signed on to direct World Without End, the sequel to Golden Globe-nominated series The Pillars of the Earth.

The $43 million, eight-part TV epic, based on the best-seller by Ken Follett, starts principal photography July 4 in Budapest. Ridley and Tony Scott's Scott Free, Germany's Tandem Communications and Canada's Take 5 are producing. Casting is underway.

The 2007 novel, which follows the lives of four people in 14th Century England caught up in the Hundred Years' War and the Black Death, spent 30 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was a hit around the world.

It is the sequel to Follett's even-more successful medieval epic The Pillars of the Earth, which was an Oprah Book Club pick. Tandem and Scott Free turned Pillars into an eight-part series which aired last year on pay net Starz.

Starz co-developed World but is not currently attached to the project.

Tandem has closed the shooting budget with pre-sales to Channel 4 in the U.K., Canada's Shaw Media, Pro7 in Germany, Spain's Cuatro, Austria's ORF and Italian pay channel SkyItalia.

Tandem will be trying to lock down a domestic TV deal at international television market MIPTV next week.

Caton-Jones is repped by Gersh and Echo Lake.