'Stan and Ollie' Producer Sets Joan and Jackie Collins Drama Series

Sony Pictures Television
Joan Collins

Sony-backed Fable Pictures has optioned the rights for a TV adaptation of the story of the two British sisters who became Hollywood superstars in the 1980s.

Stan and Ollie producer Fable Pictures has lined up its next Hollywood legends biopic, securing the TV rights for the life story of British sisters turned 1980s showbiz superstars Joan and Jackie Collins, which it plans to adapt as a six-hour series called Joan & Jackie.

After her breakout performance in Howard Hawks's Land of the Pharaohs in 1955, Joan Collins signed with 20th Century Fox, one of the last  actresses to secure a major studio contract at the tail end of Hollywood's Golden Age. She went on to star in countless features, from historic drama The Virgin Queen (1955) to crime caper Seven Thieves (1960). But it was the second act of her career — as the dazzlingly evil Alexis Carrington on television's Dynasty — that made her a superstar. In 1982, she was the highest paid female star on television and, in 1983, won a Golden Globe for her performance. Most recently she can be seen in American Horror Story.

Younger sister Jackie followed Joan to Los Angeles and became one of the town's — and world's— most successful writers, penning 32 New York Times best-selling romance novels, mostly inspired by her life in Hollywood. Her books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages. Eight have been adapted for the screen, either as films or television mini-series. Sister Joan starred in two of them — in the 1970s feature adaptions of The Stud and The Bitch. Jackie Collins died in 2015.

Fable Pictures is planning a six-hour series, Joan & Jackie, based on the Collins sisters' life, which Sony Pictures Television, a shareholder in Fable, will distribute globally. Caroline Harvey and Faye Ward will executive produce with Hannah Farrell (Suffragette). Award-winning playwright Penelope Skinner (The Village Bike) will write.

Fable is pitching the series as “the ultimate Hollywood fantasy: from a teenage bedroom in post-war London to the insatiable glitz and glamour of 1980’s Beverly Hills...an extraordinary rite of passage story about two sisters who did it for themselves — and each other — to define the 1980s.”

“I am delighted that such a prestigious team wants to tell our story, and I know my sister Jackie would be as excited as I am to be involved!” Joan Collins said in a statement.

Added Jackie Collins' daughters: “We are delighted that Faye, Caroline and Sony Pictures Television will be producing the remarkable story of our mother and our aunt and their rise to stardom. Our mother always told us when we were growing up that ‘Girls can do anything!’ and Joan & Jackie will fabulously depict how true that is!"