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Germany’s FabFiction joins Australian drama The Messenger as coproducer

The Messenger is based on Markus Zusak’s novel

FabFiction, the scripted coproduction initiative between ARD’s German public broadcasters NDR, SWR and WDR, has boarded Australian drama series The Messenger as a coproducer.

Commissioned by Australian pubcaster the ABC and produced by ITV Studios-owned Lingo Pictures, the series is based on Markus Zusak’s bestselling novel of the same name.

The show’s distributor, All3Media International, agreed terms with FabFiction in a deal negotiated by Jonathan Hughes, its VP for Germany, Benelux, Austria and Switzerland, and FabFiction’s Frank Tönsmann (WDR).

The Messenger will be one of the first titles to join FabFiction’s slate. The initiative is dedicated to investing in quality scripted content that tells unique and innovative stories, with the goal of supporting creative talent, according to its backers.

The Messengers’ plot follows a have-a-go-hero who stops an armed robbery but then starts receiving cryptic messages.

The Messenger reunites many of the creative team behind previous Australian drama Lambs of God, including writer Sarah Lambert and producers Jason Stephens (Upright) and Elisa Argenzio (New Gold Mountain).

Helen Bowden, Markus Zusak, Mika Zusak, Sarah Lambert and Daniel Nettheim exec produce alongside Sally Riley and Rebecca Anderson of the ABC. The show is being directed by Daniel Nettheim (The Tourist), Helena Brooks (The Brokenwood Mysteries) and Jennifer Leacey (The Secrets She Keeps).

It stars William McKenna (Nowhere Boys) alongside Maggie Dence (Rake, Wonderland), Alexandra Jensen (Frayed, Amazing Grace), Chris Alosio (Troppo) and actor, singer and songwriter Kartanya Maynard (Deadloch).

In related news, Scottish indie Freedom Scripted has signed a first-look distribution deal with All3Media International.

Having secured investment from UK commercially funded pubcaster Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund last summer, Glasgow-based Freedom will now partner with All3Media International on its scripted slate.

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