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Endemol Shine Group, DoveTale Media and acclaimed film director Shekhar Kapur join forces to bring best-selling novels The Ibis Trilogy to worldwide market


• Award- winning film director Shekhar Kapur (‘Elizabeth’, ‘Elizabeth: TheGolden Age’, ‘Bandit Queen’) to direct new drama based on thebestselling novels by Amitav Ghosh

• The epic historical saga will be produced by Artists Studio, part ofEndemol Shine Group, in partnership with Endemol Shine India and newTV packaging company DoveTale Media

• The deal was announced at Series Mania in Lille by Lars Blomgren,Endemol Shine Group’s Head of Scripted at EMEA

Global content creator, producer and distributor Endemol Shine Group today announces thedevelopment of a major high-end production for the international market.

Shekhar Kapur, the award-winning film director behind ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Elizabeth: The GoldenAge’ as well as Bollywood smash hit ‘Bandit Queen’ has signed a deal with Endemol ShineGroup to bring to life the trilogy of best-selling novels by acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh.

Ghosh’s masterpiece, which begins with ‘Sea of Poppies’, continues with ‘River of Smoke’and concludes with ‘Flood of Fire’, has already achieved classic status and is seen as alandmark of twenty-first century literature.

The agreement also brings together Endemol Shine Group companies, Artists Studio (‘TheFall’) and Endemol Shine India (‘Test Case’) who will produce the drama in partnership withTV packaging consultancy service DoveTale Media who initially acquired the rights to thebooks.

Justin Pollard, whose credits include the blockbuster ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise aswell as hit television series ‘Vikings’ and ‘The Tudors’, is on board as Historical Consultantand Story Editor. Set in mid-nineteenth century Asia, the series will interweave the lives ofvividly drawn characters against the backdrop of the opium wars between Britain, India andChina. The team is in the process of lining up a lead writer.

Lars Blomgren, Head of Scripted for EMEA at Endemol Shine Group says; “Our ambition is tocreate a major high-end franchise for the international market, matching the scale and epicsweep of the Ibis novels. This deal represents our Group collaborating at its best, creating anexotic, never before seen tale with wide audience appeal. Shekhar Kapur completes theexclusive package and we’re expecting great interest in bringing this to the global audience.”

Shekhar Kapur adds; “I have always been fascinated that the drug trade was the engine forthe Industrial Revolution. Amitav Gosh’s books brilliantly bring out the vast epic and emotionaltale of opium, from its beginnings in India where it is grown and onto China where it is pushedby drug lords. The story also follows the journeys of indentured labour from India to coloniesaround the world and tells the intriguing tales of people from India, America and China at atime when modern history was being formed. I’m very much looking forward to collaboratingwith Endemol Shine in this gripping series that could run into many seasons.”

Lars Blomgren was appointed Head of Scripted EMEA in 2018 and is charged with enhancingEndemol Shine Group’s premium offering through increased collaboration, shared investmentand opportunities across the Group.

Last year Endemol Shine Group’s unparalleled network of award-winning scripted producersand companies across markets in Europe, Middle East and Asia were responsible for 50 non-English language productions.

Recent and forthcoming series include Norway’s Beforeigners (HBO Europe), Sweden’sBeartown (HBO Europe), The Idhun Memories (Netflix), Cathedral of the Sea (Antena 3/ TV3/Netflix) and Matadero (Antena 3) from Spain, The Oldenheim Twelve (RTL4) and Lois (NPO1)from the Netherlands, Germany’s Dark (Netflix) and Pagan Peak (Sky Deutschland), France’sInsoupconnable (TF1) and Guyanne (Canal+), Italy’s L’Allieva (Rai Uno) and Queens (Hot)and Just for Today (Yes) from Israel.

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