FremantleMedia International & Roland Joffé Team To Develop Hunchback of Notre Dame TV Series

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FremantleMedia International has linked up with Roland Joffé, the Oscar nominated writer and director behind The Killing Fields, to develop a television series based on The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The two parties have inked a co-development partnership which will see Joffé pen the new series adaptation of the classic Victor Hugo novel. Currently titled Ugly, the series will be played out against the political economic and social explosion of early 17th Century France and follows the life of Ugly, the physical impaired hero of the story. FremantleMedia International plans to shop the project to international buyers at MIPTV next month.

Roland Joffé is best know for his feature films; with his second film, The Mission, earning seven Oscar nominations and winning the coveted Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival. That said, this venture into television is nothing new for the legendary writer/director. He originally began his career in the British theatre before seguing to television and has worked on numerous UK television productions including Coronation Street and The Stars Look Down.

“It’s a cruel conundrum that beauty – much as it is desirable and desired – may be a prison both for those who have it and those who want it. At one level we all think we know what beauty is, but there are as many different kinds of beauty as there are varieties of love”, said Joffé. “Though physical beauty may encourage the continued expansion of the population at large, it may only be inner beauty that guarantees it’s continued and continuing existence. In our story, Ugly is beautiful and much of what passes for beauty is ugly. Such is life, and life and love, cruelty and compassion, morals and money, are the subjects of our story.”

While Sarah Doole, FremantleMedia’s Director of Global Drama, added: “FremantleMedia International are beyond excited about the opportunity to work with the extraordinarily talented Roland Joffé. Ugly is truly captivating and exactly the type of project that we have been seeking in our efforts to grow our creation of high end scripted dramas. We are looking forward to discussing the project with the broadcasters at MIPTV.”