Origin story: Thompson goes solo with film and TV banner


Former BBC Films chief David Thompson is running his own film and television production banner up the flagpole.

Dubbed Origin Pictures, the company has backing from Thompson's former employer of 32 years through a three-year first-look deal with BBC Fiction and has attracted producer and financier Anant Singh's support via Singh's Distant Horizon, which is likely to provide co-financing on Origin films.

Thompson also has organized a first-look development deal with FremantleMedia Enterprises.

First up on the slate is Michel Faber's novel "The Crimson Petal and the White," which Origin has optioned and is developing as a four-part drama serial.

Thompson, who jets into Cannes today, also has taken on board several productions as an executive producer at BBC's filmmaking arm. Those titles include Armando Iannucci's "In the Loop," Jane Campion's "Bright Star," Saul Dibb's "The Duchess," Martin Campbell's "Edge of Darkness," new films from Andrea Arnold and Pawel Pawlikowski and an adaptation of Jon Ronson's book "The Men Who Stare at Goats."

Thompson said it is essential for any start-up to be in both film and television and aims to make movies from micro budgets to up to $40 million. (partialdiff)