Amazon Studios Head of European Originals, Georgia Brown, and Head of UK Originals, Dan Grabiner, have announced the greenlight of two new UK Prime Video originals.

The shows are Psychological thriller Wilderness, produced by Firebird Pictures, written by Marnie Dickens and executive produced by Elizabeth Kilgarriff and a documentary feature about influential online star, KSI, produced by Louis Theroux as Executive Producer and Mindhouse Productions, following KSI (aka Olajide Olatunji) as he prepares for the biggest year of his career so far.

Malachi Kirby (Small Axe) has also been announced as the lead in the upcoming Amazon Original series Anansi Boys, based on Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novel.

Wilderness, will launch on Amazon Prime Video in 2023.

“British couple Liv and Will seem to have it all: A rock-solid marriage, a glamorous new life in New York thousands of miles from their provincial hometown, and still young enough to feel that their whole lives are ahead of them. Until Liv learns about Will’s affair. Heartbreak is swiftly followed by another emotion—fury. Revenge is her only option, and when Will proposes a trip around America’s epic National Parks to give their relationship a fresh start, she knows just the place…”

Marnie Dickens said, “Wilderness is pure, unadulterated fun, where our heroine Liv says the things you wish you had the guts to, does the things you can only fantasise about, and lives by her own increasingly outrageous set of rules. I’m thrilled to bring the Prime Video audience along for her ride.”

“I’m delighted to be adding Wilderness to our growing roster of premium UK Original scripted series,” said Dan Grabiner, head of UK Originals, Amazon Studios. “It’s a deliciously twisted thriller, and Marnie Dickens and the talented team at Firebird Pictures are the perfect combination to deliver it.”

Elizabeth Kilgarriff said, “We’re so excited to be bringing Marnie’s gripping and provocative scripts to life with the fantastic team at Amazon. Taking B.E. Jones’ brilliant story and super-charging it for the screen, Wilderness asks just how far you would go to get revenge on the person who ripped out your heart.”

The new 90-minute documentary featuring KSI, who has over 35 million subscribers to his YouTube channels, will follow the star as he releases his second album, prepares for his sold-out European tour and a headline show at The SSE Arena, Wembley, amongst many other significant moments. “Through this intimate documentary we will take the audience inside the world of a global star as he transcends the online world he dominates to become one of this generations most talked about performing artists and prove to his critics he’s here to stay.”

Louis Theroux said, “It is a huge thrill to be working with JJ on this definitive documentary. He is a huge talent, a totally self-created phenomenon who has gone from bedroom bound nerd with a handful of subscribers to an online colossus with fans in the millions, purely through the power of his work ethic and his will to win. The documentary will be an opportunity to see another side of JJ, understanding how he got where he is, the world of a premium online content creator today, and a man who has made it his brand never to lose, as he takes on the music business.”

KSI said, “I’m super excited for people to finally see what I mean by “hard work”. People will get to see the behind the scenes of the key events in my life and show them how I do everything I do.”

“The extraordinary rise of KSI is a fascinating story of our time” said Dan Grabiner, Head of UK Originals, Amazon Studios. We’re thrilled to be working with Louis and Mindhouse to join JJ behind-the-scenes of his make-or-break year. This is going to be an unprecedented insight into JJ’s world; how he came to be where he is today, and what’s next.”

The director is Wes Pollitt (The Last Miners, Murder 24/7) the producer is Sophie Grant (The Last Miners, Superkids: Breaking Away from Care) and the executive producers are Louis Theroux (Altered States, My Scientology Movie, Shooting Joe Exotic) and Barnaby Coughlin (Inside Tatler, Sound of Musicals, First Dates). On production management, Donna Ferry is the production executive (This is Football, Stylish with Jena Lyons) and Hannah Ramsey is the line producer (The Met: Policing London, Louis Theroux: Mothers on the Edge).

The announcements add to Amazon’s UK slate in production in 2021 including six-part epic thriller series, The Rig starring Iain Glen, Martin Compston and Emily Hampshire; six-part comedy-drama series, written by Jez Butterworth and starring James Corden and Sally Hawkins, Mammalsgrime and drill music drama series produced by first-time TV producers Nothing Lost, Jungle; and six-part thriller series produced by Hartswood Films starring Jessica Raine and Peter Capaldi, The Devil’s Hour, which follows the story of Lucy Chambers, who wakes up every night at exactly 3.33am. These are in addition to forthcoming unscripted series including All or Nothing: Arsenalthe second series of Clarkson’s Farm and James May: Our Man In… Amazon Studios also recently announced that Season Two of untitled The Lord of the Rings original series will film in the UK, joining these series and others including Good Omens Season Two, Anansi Boys, Citadel and The Power in being produced in the UK.

Jon Creamer

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