Moonage Pictures (The Pursuit of Love) and Nicolas Winding Refn today announced that filming has begun on a brand-new series of The Famous Five for the BBC in the UK in co-production with ZDF in Germany.
The French territory is already presold to TF1.
New The Famous Five
The 3 x 90 minute episode series will be created for television and executive produced by Nicolas Winding Refn (byNWR) and Matthew Read (Moonage Pictures) based on Enid Blyton’s 21 stories.
Filming takes place across the South West of the UK.
Nicolas Winding Refn, creator and executive producer, said: “All my life I’ve fought vigorously to remain a child with a lust for adventure.
“By reimagining The Famous Five, I am preserving that notion by bringing these iconic stories to life for a progressive new audience, instilling the undefinable allure and enchantment of childhood for current and future generations to come.”
Will Gould, co-founder of Moonage Pictures, said: “Moonage Pictures was created to provide the right creative environment to explore ideas without limitation and this provides us with exactly that opportunity.
“In the hands of Nicolas and Matthew this Famous Five will be a modern, timely and irreverent action series with adventure at its heart.”
Patricia Hidalgo, Director BBC Children’s and Education, said: “Bringing these books to life with a new reimagining of The Famous Five is a real treat for BBC audiences and a celebration of British heritage.
“These stories are loved around the world and bringing families together is a key part of our strategy so we hope it introduces a new generation of viewers to these wonderful adventures.”
The series follows five daring young explorers as they encounter treacherous, action-packed adventures, remarkable mysteries, unparalleled danger, and astounding secrets in an unforgettable odyssey that evokes the power of camaraderie between the fearless young heroes.
The series was commissioned by Sarah Muller, Senior Head of Children’s Commissioning 7+ and the commissioning editor for the BBC is Amy Buscombe.
The commissioning editors of ZDF will be Frank Seyberth and Katharina Kremling. It will be directed by Tim Kirkby and produced by Moonage Pictures and byNWR Originals.
BBC Studios, who have a minority stake in Moonage, will oversee international distribution and brokered the co-production and presales deals with both France’s TF1 and Germany’s ZDF.
Episode one is written by Matthew Read, episode two is written by Priya K Dosanjh, with episode three being written by Matthew Bouch and Matthew Read.
Executive Producers are Nicolas Winding Refn, Matthew Read, Will Gould, Frith Tiplady, Christina Bostofte Erritzøe, Kimberly Willming and Matthew Bouch. Producer is Sophie MacClancy.
Dr. Simone Emmelius, SVP International Fiction ZDF, said: “We are thrilled to join forces with our friends and partners of the BBC, BBC Studios and TF1 to bring the much loved books of Enid Blyton back on screen.
“Moonage and the amazing creative team created modern and exciting new adventures for the well-known Famous Five, which we can’t wait to show our audiences.“
Sophie Leveaux, Artistic Director of Acquisitions & International Drama Development, TF1, said: “We are delighted and proud to be taking part in The Famous Five adventure alongside our formidable partners BBC and ZDF.
“This wonderful series of books has enjoyed undeniable success for several generations in France.
“This great brand, perfect for bringing the whole family together, fits in perfectly with TF1’s editorial line.
“We are convinced that this remarkably well-written TV series, faithful to Enid Blyton’s novel, will be a great asset to TF1’s programming.”
Karen Lawler, Head of Licensed Content for Hachette Children’s Group, owners of Enid Blyton Entertainment, said: “We are delighted that Moonage Pictures will be bringing all the thrills, charm and warmth of The Famous Five to television.”
Mark Linsey, President of Scripted, BBC Studios Productions, said: “The Famous Five books are full of childhood adventures and friendship.
“We are excited to have brought our longstanding colleagues at TF1 and ZDF onboard with our production partners at Moonage to bring these iconic characters to screen for a new audience around the world.”