Drama round-up: Fremantle & Winterbottom unveil ‘Sceptred Isle’; Netflix extends ‘Trapped’ but cancels ‘The Order’

Michael Winterbottom

Fremantle & Michael Winterbottom reveal first-look deal & ‘Sceptred Isle’ drama

Fremantle has struck an exclusive first-look deal with director Michael Winterbottom and his production company Revolution Films, which is developing a drama about the life of UK prime minister Boris Johnson.

The UK-based prodco will develop and produce scripted series and films, with Fremantle co-producing and distributing the projects worldwide. The deal has been struck in collaboration with Richard Brown and his company Passenger, with whom Fremantle already has a first-look agreement.

Winterbottom has also been behind Welcome To Sarajevo, Wonderland and 24 Hour Party People, as well as films including A Cock And Bull Story, Code 46, The Killer Inside Me and In This World.

The first project through the partnership will be UK political drama This Sceptred Isle, a real-life drama series about an extraordinary period in the life of Johnson, set against the backdrop of the global pandemic. It has been developed in partnership with Fremantle and Passenger and will be co-written and directed by Winterbottom, with Melissa Parmenter (Revolution Films) and Richard Brown (Passenger) serving as executive producers.

The partnership is the latest in a series of deals for Fremantle, which also has partnerships with Pablo Larrain and Juan de Dios Larrain, Luca Guadagnino, Paolo Sorrentino, Neil Gaiman and Neil Cross among numerous others.


Netflix extends Trapped, cancels The Order

Netflix has extended its Icelandic drama Trapped but cancelled fellow scripted series The Order after just one season.

The new run of Trapped, to be known as Entrapped, is again from Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur and will pick up two years after the ending of the second season as a battle over remote highlands heats up.

It stars Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir and Danish actor Thomas Bo Larsen, and will launch next year, with production having already commenced in Iceland. The show is produced by RVK Studios and co-produced by parent broadcaster RÚV, with ZDF from Germany.

Lina Bronéus, director of co-productions & acquisitions for Netflix in Northern Europe, said: “Trapped has gripped viewers across the globe and has shown that great stories can come from anywhere. We are thrilled to partner with Baltasar Kormákur and RVK studios again to co-produce a new season and give fans across the world the chance to dive back into the compelling world of Andri and Hinrika.”

The streamer has also extended Steve Carrell-fronted comedy Space Force into a second season, but chosen against a third season of horror drama The Order.

The latter was produced by Canada’s Nomadic Pictures and created by Dennis Heaton, who revealed the news on Twitter.

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