Thursday, March 6, 2014

Starz and BBC Co-Produce the New Original Limited Drama Series THE MISSING from Writers Harry and Jack Williams

STARZ, in partnership with the BBC, will produce and air the original limited drama series "The Missing." Filming has begun on the eight-episode run in Brussels, Belgium. Written by Harry and Jack Williams (Honest) and directed by Tom Shankland ("Ripper Street"), "The Missing" will be produced by New Pictures and Company Pictures in association with Two Brothers Pictures and Playground. It will air on BBC One in the UK and STARZ in the U.S. in fall of 2014. all3media international has funded development of THE MISSING and retains all US rights not obtained by Starz.

"The Missing" follows Tony, played by James Nesbitt (The Hobbit trilogy, Jekyll), as a man devastated by the abduction of his young son, Oliver, during a family vacation in France. He becomes a man obsessed, unable to accept that his child may be dead and spends years searching for him. Tony's exhaustive search fractures his marriage to Emily, played by Frances O' Connor ("Mr. Selfridge," A.I.: Artificial Intelligence) and threatens to destroy his life. Tcheky Karyo (Goldeneye, The Patriot) plays Julien, the French police detective who launched the initial search for the child. Even though he is retired in present day, he too cannot shake the small belief that the child may still be alive. Told using a fascinating narrative puzzle, "The Missing" explores the impact of a child's abduction, the emotional cost of obsession, hope and finding when to let go. This gripping thriller is told simultaneously over multiple time frames and set in France and London.

Nesbitt,O'Connor and Karyo are joined by an international cast including; Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) plays Mark, the British police officer who travels to France to help in the search and comfort the devastated young parents. Also joining the cast are Ken Stott (The Hobbit trilogy, Rebus); Arsher Ali (Four Lions, The Guilty); Said Taghmaoui; Emile Dequenne; Anamaria Marinca; Eric Godon; Anastasia Hille and Johan Leysen .

Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director of Starz, said, "'The Missing' is a powerful and poignant story about a father's determination to find his missing child, and that is something any viewer can understand. The Williams' scripts gripped us on every page, and we are glad to be working in partnership again with the BBC, Charlie Pattinson and Colin Callender on this very special project."

Charlie Pattinson, Executive Producer for New Pictures, said "Harry and Jack Williams have created a wonderfully complex and mature emotional thriller, and I am delighted that New Pictures' first series highlights their work. It's great that two writers who are new to long form drama have attracted such an exciting, high caliber cast."

John Yorke, Managing Director, Company Pictures, said "It's rare to find a new take on the detective drama, so it's a real pleasure to be involved with a project that both embraces the genre while finding incredibly exciting new ways to play with it. Great writing and a fantastic cast add up to something very special."

Polly Hill, BBC Head of Independent Drama, said, "We are pleased to announce such an exciting cast, that brings together the best of British and French actors, led by James Nesbitt, Frances O'Connor and Tcheky Karyo, in this powerful new drama for BBC1."

Louise Pedersen, Managing Director, all3media international, said, "We are delighted to be representing New Pictures first venture, as well as building on our long-standing relationship with Company Pictures, for global rights on this prestigious commission. We are thrilled that we can build on our relationship with Starz, with their success and expertise in launching drama to American audiences, in this major co-production that features strong talent both on and behind the screen. We will be launching the show officially at MIPCOM and we are confident of other major presales in the near future."

The executive producers are Charlie Pattinson, Willow Grylls and Elaine Pyke for New Pictures, John Yorke for Company Pictures (part of the all3media group), Harry and Jack Williams for Two Brothers Pictures, Polly Hill for the BBC, Colin Callender for Playground and Eurydice Gysel for Czar TV. Producer is Chris Clough. It was commissioned by Controller BBC One, Charlotte Moore and Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning. "The Missing" is co-produced with Fortis Film Fund, Czar TV Productions and VRT and is filmed with the support of the Belgium federal government's Tax Shelter scheme. all3media international has funded development of THE MISSING and is handling global rights including USA secondary.

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