StudioCanal has made an undisclosed investment in Birdie Pictures, the nascent UK production firm launched by former Kudos exec Phil Temple.
Temple has previously worked on shows including Code 404 and The Last Kingdom, having formerly been an executive producer at Banijay-owned Kudos, where he was most recently working on This Town by Steven Knight for BBC One.
News of the French firm’s backing, described only as a “significant” investment, came as Birdie revealed it had optioned rights to new novel The Mysterious Case Of The Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett (The Twyford Code).
The mystery thriller tracks how two teenagers and their baby were brought into a small cult of men, who tried to convince them that their newborn child was the anti-Christ, and that they had a divine purpose to destroy it.
The teenagers escaped before a ritual sacrifice could take place, with the story then fast-forwarding almost two decades to follow two journalists who try to interview the then-baby, who has just turned 18.
Temple said: “Birdie will be a home where writers feel listened to, empowered and supported. We will make quality drama and comedy that audiences will fall in love with, and we also want to have fun doing it.”
Francoise Guyonnet, executive MD of TV series at StudioCanal, added: “Phil shares [our] global ambition for projects and we know he is going to bring a strong line-up of relatable English language programming to [us] to share with the international market and audiences worldwide.”