Starz has closed a deal with ALL3Media International (on behalf of Company Pictures) to acquire domestic and worldwide multiplatform distribution rights to The White Queen, a ten-part adaptation of Phillipa Gregory‘s bestselling historical novel series. Starz’s deal with ALL3Media covers rights for all markets except for TV/home video rights in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and the UK, where TV rights are retained by BBC One, who originally commissioned The White Queen last week. Colin Callender will executive produce for Starz as part of a larger two year deal with his production company, which will also see Callender serve as executive producer on season 2 of Magic City.
“Phillipa Gregory’s novels have become runaway best sellers with passionate fans the world over, making this a project ripe for reimagining,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Starz’s Managing Director of Original Programming. “The period of England’s Wars of the Roses makes for a sensational historical backdrop as a time fraught with violence, mystery and intrigue. We are excited to be working with an incredibly talented team, both in front and behind the camera, that is taking on such an ambitious project and bringing this riveting story to life.”
Set in 1464, during the height of the War of the Roses, The White Queen tells the story of the women caught up in the ongoing conflict for the throne. The House of York’s young and devilishly handsome Edward IV is crowned King of England with the help of the master manipulator Lord Warwick “The Kingmaker.” But when Edward falls in love and secretly marries a beautiful young widow, the commoner Elizabeth Woodville, Warwick’s plan for control over the English throne comes crashing down around him. Frustrated by the new Queen’s influence he will stop at nothing to maintain his grip on the King.
The ten-part drama series stars Max Irons, James Frain, Rebecca Ferguson, Janet McTeer, Amanda Hale, Faye Marsay, Aneurin Bernard, David Oakes, Juliet Aubrey, Eleanor Tomlinson, Frances Tomelty, Michael Maloney, Ben Lamb, Hugh Mitchell, Simon Ginty, Eve Ponsenby and Robert Pugh. Company Pictures is producing with John Griffin, George Faber, Charles Pattinson, Eurydice Gysel, Colin Callender and Polly Hill serving as executive producers. The drama series will film on location in Bruges, Belgium and is being financially supported by BNP Paribas Fortis Film Fund who support Belgium’s Tax Shelter and by the Belgian Broadcaster VRT.