BBC, Weinstein Company make War & Peace

The Weinstein Company (TWC) has signed on to coproduce a major new BBC reworking of Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace.

TWC is onboard drama firm Lookout Point, BBC Worldwide and BBC Cymru Wales Drama on the series, which is being billed as “one of the most ambitious event dramas ever produced for the BBC”.

The deal was structured through Lookout Point’s co-venture with the BBC and was overseen BBC director of Television Danny Cohen, highlight the big ticket nature of the series.

Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of TWC said: “Needless to say, adapting War and Peace is a tremendous but exciting task. There’s no one I’d rather be partnering with than Lookout Point’s Simon Vaughan and the BBC’s Ben Stephenson and Faith Penhale on this production, whose incredible visions are second to none in bringing classic literature to the screen in the most sophisticated way possible.”

Vaughan added: “With BBC and Harvey on board we are making a serious statement of intent and expect to attract the talent and in turn the audiences that truly befit Tolstoy’s work. Making War and Peace is no small undertaking and this partnership has the experience needed to tackle a work of this significance.”

War and Piece is a seminal novel of the 20th century and has sold more than 36 million copies. Andrew Davies (Mr Selfridge, House of Cards) has penned the scripts. He was behind the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and the BBC’s Bleak House.

Penhale (Sherlock), BBC Cymru Wales head of drama and George Ormond (Great Expectations, Emma) executive produce for BBC Wales, along with Davies and Vaughan (Parade’s End, Ripper Street) for Lookout Point and Weinstein for TWC.

The will be produced in both 6x60mins and 8x44mins formats to help BBCWW with international sales.

Helen Jackson, Chief Content Officer for BBCWW said: War and Peace is exactly the kind of distinctive, high quality drama that BBC Worldwide through its co-venture with Lookout Point seeks to bring to the world, bringing together top talent and ambitious production partners to create stand out content that audiences the world over will delight in.”