EXCLUSIVE: Sky1 and Company Pictures have found a new director for their upcoming two-part drama Moonfleet. I’ve learned that Andy de Emmony, who previously directed Daran Little’s comedy pilot Kitten Chic for sister channel Sky Living, has signed on to helm the two-parter. He replaces Dan Percival who was previously announced as the director for the drama and is currently working on Death Comes To Pemberley for BBC One. Andy de Emmony has been directing television since the 1990s and has just come off of helming BBC Two’s Wipers Times, which was written by Ian Hislop & Nick Newman and starred Ben Chaplin.
Based on the John Meade Falkner novel of the same name, Moonfleet is set in the small Dorset village of Moonfleet and follows the young John Trenchard who is haunted by dreams of the legendary Blackbeard and captivated by the whereabouts of his fabled diamond. Desperate to join the local band of smugglers, a turn of events unites him with Elzevir, the leader of the gang. Together they embark on a danger-filled adventure to locate Blackbeard’s most treasured possession. The scripts were written by Life On Mars scribe Ashley Pharoah. Company Pictures is producing, with Endeavour producer Dan McCulloch now also boarding the drama. The executive producers are Huw Kennair-Jones, Charlie Pattinson, Claire Ingham, Ashley Pharoah and Patrick Spence.
Moonfleet was originally commissioned by Sky’s Head of Drama Anne Mensah back in June 2012 alongside Sky1’s drama series The Smoke. And while pre-production and casting on the latter series proceeded with all due haste, with the series beginning production this April, progress on Moonfleet has been slower. The drama was originally expected to begin production in late 2012 and, after some delay, I now hear that casting on Moonfleet is underway, with production expected to commence in the coming months. The hope is still to have it on air by the end of 2013, though I’m told early 2014 is more likely. My sources also tell me that Moonfleet will be shot on location in Dublin, Ireland. To that end, I’m told Sky and Company Pictures have applied for funding assistance from the Irish Film Board and that Dublin based production company Element Pictures will co-produce.