Harry Potter producer David Heyman’s TV indie Heyday Television has unveiled its first drama project.
Heyday, which is backed by NBCUniversal International Studios, has acquired the rights to Karen Blixen’s drama, Out of Africa.
Susanne Bier (The Night Manager) is attached to direct and executive produce the series.
Blixen’s book was adapted into a hit 1985 film, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. Out of Africa recounts the seventeen years that Blixen spent in the Ngong Hills of Kenya during the last decades of the British Empire.
Heyman is producing the series. He commented: "’I had a farm in Africa’ is Blixen’s most famous line: she was a survivor, unpredictable and nonconformist, and a determined explorer.”
“We are beyond delighted that Susanne Bier has such a passionate attachment to Karen’s story: with such critically acclaimed work in both film and television, she is the ideal director to transport us to Africa through the eyes of Denmark’s most celebrated writer. And of course, the long form series offers us the chance to explore not only Karen’s world, but also the perspective of the Kenyans she encounters.”
Bier said: “Karen Blixen defied the male-dominated world at every turn. Despite heavy resistance, she single-handedly ran her farm in Africa. She felt a greater kinship with the indigenous Kenyan population than any of her class peers. She both found and lost the love for which she had always longed. She has always fascinated me. This opportunity to engage with her enduring legacy is a great challenge and even greater privilege.”
Heyman formed Heyday Television in 2015 as a joint venture with NBCUniversal International Studios.
Best known for producing the Harry Potter franchise and Gravity, under his Heyday Films banner, Heyman has also produced the hit Paddington franchise, and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
NBCUniversal International Studios production labels include Carnival Films (“Downton Abbey”, “The Last Kingdom”), Monkey (“Question Jury”, Bravo’s “Newlyweds”), Chocolate Media (“Resorting Britain’s Landmarks”, “Driving School of Mum and Dad”), Lucky Giant, producers of upcoming BBC Two scripted comedy, Quacks; and Australian-based Matchbox Pictures (“The Nowhere Boys”, “Glitch”).
David Heyman and Nancy Cotton will also serve as executive producers under their Heyday Television banner. Bier is repped by CAA and Brillstein, while Heyday TV is repped by UTA, Bloom Hergott, and Wiggin.
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