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Colman launches prodco, wins HBO/Sky deal

Olivia Colman is joint creative director of the new production company

Oscar- and Bafta-winning actor Olivia Colman (The Crown, The Favourite) and screenwriter Ed Sinclair have launched an independent production company with co-founder Tom Carver.

South of the River Pictures is based in London and has financial backing from Sister, the new production venture from former Shine chief Elisabeth Murdoch, Stacey Snider and former Kudos boss Jane Featherstone.

Husband and wife team Sinclair and Colman will be creative directors, while Carver will be MD and comes with a 20-year track record at companies including WarnerMedia.

The first project from the new prodco will be four-parter Landscapers, written by Sinclair in his first TV screenplay, for Sky Atlantic and HBO. The series will be produced by Sister in association with South of the River Pictures.

Landscapers is described by producers as “a visually inventive, darkly funny” dramatisation of the lives of convicted killers Susan and Christopher Edwards. It will be directed by Oscar winner Alexander Payne (About Schmidt, Sideways) and stars Colman as Susan Edwards.

The series will start filming in 2020 and will air on HBO in the US, Sky Atlantic and Now TV in the UK and on Sky in Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland. International sales for Landscapers will be handled by NBCUniversal Global Distribution.

“It’s an exhilarating time for drama generally, and South of the River adds a hugely exciting autonomy and reach to our existing creative relationship,” said Sinclair and Colman in a joint statement.

“We’re determined to take risks and wander off the well-trodden path, so we’ll no doubt make some mistakes. But we’ve been reading scripts together for 25 years and trust each other’s instincts implicitly.”

Cameron Roach, director of drama at Sky Studios, added: “And after the success of the multi award-winning Chernobyl, we’re pleased to be working with Sister on another original drama inspired by true events.”

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