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Emmerich to adapt Lawrence of Arabia for TV

Lawrence_of_Arabia_Brough_Superior_gifHollywood director Roland Emmerich and FremantleMedia International are developing a six-hour epic miniseries based on T.E. Lawrence, known better as Lawrence of Arabia.

The pair are working with Marc Frydman (Straw Dogs) and Rod Lurie (The Contender, Commander in Chief) to develop the series, which will be written by screenwriter Clive Bradley (City of Vice, Waking The Dead) along with Lurie. T.E. Lawrence biographer Michael Korda us attached as official historical consultant.

Emmerich is best known as director of feature films such as Independence Day, The Patriot and upcoming feature White House Down.

Lawrence rose to fame during the early 20th century as a decorated officer in the British Army and recorded his experiences through a series of vivid writings, which were adapted into the seminal 1962 movie Lawrence of Arabia.

The TV series will focus on Lawrence’s role working with Arab leaders during World War I, much in the same way the film did.

David Ellender, CEO FremantleMedia International, FremantleMedia’s global TV unit, said, “T.E. Lawrence was undoubtedly one of the greatest military and political strategists of our time and a stunningly intrepid Englishman who tried to unite the Arab world. The heritage of this story is fascinating – beyond the historical element, it’s a personal tale of emotional turmoil, identity crisis, conflicting loyalties and individual brilliance.

“The Middle East and Arab Spring as we know them today are linked to Lawrence’s actions, which make this epic incredibly topical. I am delighted that we are working with partners of such high calibre to bring this project to the screen.”

The move is FremantleMedia International’s latest step in its global drama strategy, which has so far given rise to series including The Maid, which comes from Pukeko Pictures and is based on Joan of Arc;  a series inspired by Andrew Nagorski’s non-fiction book Hitlerland; and The Drivers, which comes from Headline Pictures and Scott Free Productions. It’s also working with UK producer Paul Abbott (Shameless) to adapt the French drama Les Revenants (w/t They Came Back) for English-speaking audiences.