BBC America & HBO Canada Developing Prison Ship Drama ‘Iron Belly’

BBC America and HBO Canada are developing Iron Belly, a 19th century set drama about a floating prison.

Iron Belly is set aboard a prison ship sailing from Ireland to Australia in the 1800s. What starts as a simple – but brutal – journey across the sea becomes a study of humanity above and below the decks. Follow Captain Byron Gibbons, a relentlessly ambitious empire-builder and Cormac O’Brien, a naive Irish rebel convict who sheds his idealism to become the most dangerous man on board, as they travel to the land down under.

The two networks have commissioned a script, with a view to a series order. Iron Belly was created by Jonathan Sobol and Jeremy Boxen and is being produced by Electus and Darius Films. The executive producers are John Pollak, Chris Grant and Nicholas Tabarrok. Sobol and Boxen are represented by Jeff Alpern of The Alpern Group.

“We are thrilled to work with Darius Films, BBC America and HBO Canada to bring Iron Belly to audiences around the world as the show’s unique mix of history, action and drama, will resonate brilliantly with global viewers,” says John Pollak, President of Electus International. “Our goal at Electus Studios is to deliver content that is unique in tone and unsurpassed in quality, always captivating viewers and leaving them craving for more.”

While Darius Films’ Nicholas Tabarrok added: “I’ve worked with Jonathan for many years and have made two features with him, I’m thrilled to continue our relationship into the world of high end episodic television. With Jeremy co-writing and Electus as my partners, I can’t think of a better team to deliver a great show to our broadcasters.”