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Fremantle signs up Winterbottom

Producer and distributor Fremantle has signed an exclusive first-look deal with filmmaker Michael Winterbottom, with their first project a drama based on UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s response to Covid-19.

Michael Winterbottom

Winterbottom’s UK-based Revolution Films will develop and produce scripted series and films, with Fremantle coproducing and distributing them worldwide.

The deal is a collaboration with True Detective producer Richard Brown and his new prodco Passenger.

The first project through the partnership will be UK political drama This Sceptred Isle, a series about the past year in Johnson’s life set against the backdrop of the global pandemic.

Developed with Fremantle and Passenger, the series will tell the true story of the biggest national and personal crisis to face a government leader since the Second World War.

The series will be co-written and directed by Winterbottom, with Melissa Parmenter (Revolution Films) and Richard Brown (Passenger) serving as executive producers. Tim Shipman, political editor of The Sunday Times, is acting as a consultant on the series.

Winterbottom said: “We are very excited at the prospect of developing our film and television production with our new partners at Passenger and Fremantle. We want to provide a space where directors can have the freedom to develop and tell the stories they are passionate about.”

The talent deal is the latest in a series signed by Fremantle, with others including Pablo Larrain and Juan de Dios Larrain, Luca Guadagnino, Paolo Sorrentino, Neil Gaiman and Neil Cross, as well as Brown and others.

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