Wild Bunch to Adapt 'Doctor Zhivago' With 'Vikings' Creator Michael Hirst

Richard Cannon
Michael Hirst

The eight-part series will be produced by Sherlock's Beryl and Sue Vertue and Robin Hood's Foz Allan.

France's Wild Bunch TV, the small-screen arm of Blue is the Warmest Color producer Vincent Maraval, will launch a new adaptation of Doctor Zhivago.

Vikings and The Tudors creator Michael Hirst will adapt the Russian epic for eight one-hour episodes. Emmy winners Beryl and Sue Vertue's Hartswood Films, the team behind Dracula and Sherlock, and Foz Allan's Bryncoed Productions, the shingle behind Robin Hood and Jekyll & Hyde, will co-executive produce.

The 1966 film starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie won five Oscars. Hirst put the historical drama in a modern-day context.

"There are many people in the world today who are suffering as a consequence of wars, revolutions and societal disintegration. This project pushes the boundaries of the movie and will embrace the larger story of Dr. Zhivago’s own journey into the vortex of revolution; and it deliberately connects more with events today, from Latin America to the streets of Paris," he said.

Maraval's Wild Bunch launched its TV division in 2015 with acquisitions Medici: Masters of Florence and Four Seasons in Havana. Doctor Zhivago marks the first big TV series since Wild Bunch received an injection of cash from German group Sapinda and mogul Lars Windhorst last July to alleviate its debt and help it invest in new projects.