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Discworld, the wildly colorful fantasy universe created by the late British author Terry Pratchett across more than 40 novels, looks set to get a fresh TV revival, and just as the BBC puts the finishing touches to its own small screen adaptation.
Narrativia, the production company set up in 2012 by Pratchett (who passed away in 2015), has signed an exclusive development deal with Endeavor Content and Brit banner Motive Pictures, with the trio coming together to create what they describe as “truly authentic Discworld screen adaptations.”
“Discworld teems with unique characters, witty narrative and incredible literary tropes, and we feel these should be realized onscreen in a form that my father would be proud of,” said Rhianna Pratchett, co-director of Narrativia. “It’s wonderful to embark on this journey with Motive and Endeavor Content, who both perfectly share our vision to make this a reality.”
The first Discworld novels set for adaptation under the new deal are yet to be announced.
“Discworld is a national treasure, and we are thrilled to be forging this new partnership with Narrativia and Endeavor Content,” said Simon Maxwell, CEO of Motive Pictures, which launched in 2018 with Endeavor as lead financier and strategic partner. “Together we will produce shows that will be loved by millions of Discworld fans worldwide, whilst also opening up Sir Terry Pratchett’s epic creations and legacy to new audiences. We launched Motive to make high-quality British shows with global scale and impact, and I can think of nothing that exemplifies that ambition more than this hugely exciting partnership.”
Despite the Discworld series of novels’ immense popularity, with more than 100 million copies sold around the world in 37 different languages, the complexity of Pratchett’s fantasy creation – a flat disc world balanced on the backs of four elephants, which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle – has seen a somewhat limited number of film and TV adaptations brought to fruition. However, this year sees BBC America launch The Watch, an eight-part police procedural series from BBC Studios inspired by the stories of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, Discworld’s chaotic police force. Narrativia is a producer on the long-gestating project, which was first announced in 2011, but the company isn’t involved creatively.
“We are honoured to bring Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld to the screen in partnership with best-in-class producers Narrativia and Motive Pictures,” said Lorenzo De Maio, head of television advisory for Endeavor Content. “Discworld is a masterpiece of storytelling, and we look forward to working with our partners to bring it to audiences worldwide.”
The deal with Endeavor Content was struck by Rob Wilkins of Narrativia and Maxwell of Motive Pictures. Executive producers for Motive will be Maxwell and Sam Lavender, and Endeavor Content will handle worldwide sales.
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