Fremantle has signed a new first look and development deal with Astral Projection, the production company from Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener, Disobedience, The Favourite) and executive producer Polly Stokes (American Honey, Wild Rose, The Nest).

The three-year deal will see Fremantle become the primary home for all of Astral Projection’s television and film projects, with the producer working closely with both Fremantle’s Global Drama division and international distribution team. The partnership was spearheaded by Christian Vesper, Fremantle’s CEO Global Drama and COO Global Drama, Seb Shorr, with the deal negotiated by Fran Denny, VP Legal and Business Affairs Global Drama on behalf of Fremantle, and James Kay and Jessica Hudson for Sheridans acting on behalf of Astral Projection. 

Astral Projection co-produced Dead Ringers, the six-part psychological thriller for Amazon, created by Alice Birch, in which Weisz played both lead roles in the gender-swapped reimagining of the 1988 David Cronenberg film. Stokes, a former Creative Executive at Film4, and Weisz have a long-standing relationship and are building a slate of projects, across television and film, with Rebecca Servadio as Astral’s literary consultant.

This is the latest creative partnership to be announced by Fremantle following its recent first look development deal with Krishnendu Majumdar and Richard Yee’s BAFTA-winning UK production house Me+You Productions (Close to You, I AM…) which was secured following a collaboration on original TV drama, Alice & Jack starring Andrea Riseborough and Domhnall Gleeson. 

Rachel Weisz, Executive Producer, Astral Projection said: “We are thrilled to have found such experienced and trusting partners in Fremantle. As soon as we met Christian and Seb, we knew they were a perfect fit for our taste and energy and that this would be a brilliant home for Astral.”

Polly Stokes, Executive Producer, Astral Projection said: “We want to tell stories that are surprising and affirming — that find joy in unexpected and daring places. We were immediately taken by Fremantle’s reach, across film and TV, and their deep faith in exceptional talent. We can’t wait to begin this chapter.”

Christian Vesper, CEO Global Drama, Fremantle, said: “We’ve been admirers of Polly and Rachel’s careers for some time. The breadth, scale and acclaim of their combined body of work across both television and film is truly impressive and I’ve no doubt this is going to be a fruitful and exciting partnership. I couldn’t be happier to welcome them to the Fremantle family and start collaborating on world class projects together.

Picture credits: Rachel Weisz: Brigitte Lacombe; Polly Stokes: Charlie Bibby

Jon Creamer

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