FREMANTLEMEDIA NORTH AMERICA IS AWARDED THE TELEVISION RIGHTS TO THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED GORMENGHAST FANTASY BOOK SERIES BY AUTHOR MERVYN PEAKE
April 4, 2018

Neil Gaiman and Akiva Goldsman to Executive Produce the Television Drama Series Depicting the Remarkable Groan Dynasty 

 

 

Burbank, CA, April 3, 2018 – FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) today announced it has won the rights to Mervyn Peake’s gothic fantasy book series, Gormenghast.   Hailed as one of the great works of 20th century British literature, Gormenghast has received widespread acclaim and has been translated into more than 20 languages.    With numerous companies competing for the project, FMNA ultimately secured the rights to all five books within the series, from literary agent Jonathan Sissons at Peters, Fraser and Dunlop, on behalf of the Peake estate.    Attached to the project are award-winning author Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Norse Mythology, Coraline) and Academy Award-winning writer, producer and director, Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man), who will serve as non-writing executive producers.  Academy Award-winning Barry Spikings (The Deer Hunter, Lone Survivor) will also serve as an executive producer, along with David A. Stern (Howards End, The Last Tycoon), who was instrumental in bringing this deal together.

“There is nothing in literature like Mervyn Peake’s remarkable Gormenghast novels,” said Neil Gaiman.  “They were crafted by a master, who was also an artist, and they take us to an ancient castle as big as a city, with heroes and villains and people larger than life that are impossible to forget. There is a reason why there were two trilogies that lovers of the fantasy genre embraced in the Sixties: Lord of the Rings, and the Gormenghast books. It’s an honor to have been given the opportunity to help shepherd Peake’s brilliant and singular vision to the screen.”

“Luminaries like Mervyn Peake and my old friend Neil Gaiman are more than good company to keep,” said Akiva Goldsman.  “I am grateful to Barry Spikings for the will, and FremantleMedia for the capacity, to help us bring the sprawling glory of Gormenghast to a modern audience.”

“Nothing combines a dark atmosphere with humor and intrigue the way that Gormenghast does.  It’s one of the most eccentric and vividly imagined universes ever created,” said Dante Di Loreto, President of Scripted Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America.  “We’re excited to continue our relationship with Neil and the producing team assembled for this project is ideal to explore the series’ perfect mix of humor, pathos and tragedy.”   “We are tremendously excited by the prospect of seeing the Gormenghast books realized for television,” said Fabian Peake, son of Mervyn and executor of the Peake estate.  “This venture presents a unique opportunity to explore the imagination of a multi-faceted artist.”   The Gormenghast series traces the life of Titus Groan, our hero and the 77th Earl of Groan.  The series begins with his birth and follows him throughout his complex life. Titus is a reluctant heir to the Earldom, but one who stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that form Gormenghast Castle and its kingdom, unless the toxically charismatic, Steerpike, is able to rise above his kitchen boy station to take control of the House of Groan. What follows is an extended fight to the death for Gormenghast itself. Titus comes to realize that the fortress isn’t simply a castle stifled by traditions, it’s a legacy that provides him with the foundations to survive and thrive in the world outside the castle walls.  The fantastical world of Gormenghast is full of rich storylines encompassing a doomed lord, an emergent hero, and a dazzling array of bizarre creatures.     FremantleMedia is a leading producer of supremely engaging dramas with productions in 12 territories around the world.  This past year, FMNA’s critically acclaimed American Gods, based on Neil Gaiman’s novel, was STARZ’s No. 1 launch of its season and returns to the network in 2019 for a second season.

Neil Gaiman is the author of the New York Times best-selling American Gods, Norse Mythology, The View from the Cheap SeatsThe Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Graveyard BookCoralineNeverwhere, and The Sandman series of graphic novels, among other works. His fiction has received Newbery, Carnegie, Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner Awards. In addition, Gaiman has written and is the showrunner for a mini-series of Good Omens, based on the book he co-authored with Terry Pratchett, airing in 2019.

 

Akiva Goldsman is a renowned film and television writer, director and producer.  He received Academy, Golden Globe and Writers Guild of America  awards for  the film A Beautiful Mind.  Goldsman’s television credits include Fringe, for which he won a Saturn and Hugo Award, in addition to serving as an executive producer on Star Trek: Discovery 

 

Barry Spikings is best known as a producer of the 1978 film, The Deer Hunter, which won five Academy Awards. Spikings also served as a producer on the films Lone Survivor and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. 

 

David A. Stern is the co-founder of both Sleeping Giant Films and KippSter Entertainment.  He serves as the executive producer on Howards End (BBC One/STARZ), an adaptation of the literary masterpiece by EM Forster which premiered in the UK to seven million viewers, and also served as the executive producer on the Amazon drama, The Last Tycoon.

 

About FremantleMedia North America

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is the U.S. arm of global media giant FremantleMedia. A powerhouse in scripted and non-scripted content, FremantleMedia also comprises a distribution arm, FremantleMedia International, as well as a digital and branded entertainment division. As one of the world’s largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of TV  brands in the world, FremantleMedia’s comprehensive global network has operations in 31 countries, creating over 10,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 45 formats and managing over 350 individual titles. The company also distributes more than 20,000 hours of content in over 200 territories. For more information follow us @FMNATV and visit our Facebook page.

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.

 

 

 

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