Margot Robbie and her LuckyChap Entertainment (I, Tonya) is partnering with the Australian Broadcasting Company, Aussie production company Hoodlum (Secrets & Lies) and ABC Studios International on a new ten-part series, retelling the work of Shakespeare from female perspectives. The project, currently in development, will be produced in Australia, with filming expected to begin in 2018.
The untitled project will be led by a female creative team who will produce ten standalone episodes, each based on a celebrated work of Shakespeare updated to comment on our modern, global society. The project falls under the first-look deal between Hoodlum and ABC Studios International.
Hoodlum, LuckyChap and ABC Studios International will work with female writers/writer directors to update the Bard’s works with unique and distinct voices, and reflect different cultures and areas. Series Concept Creator Giula Sandler (Nowhere Boys) will work across the series and will also write one episode.
“We are thrilled about this Australian partnership as an opportunity to showcase unique, distinctly female voices in writing, and to demonstrate the high quality of the Australian film and television industry,” LuckyChap said in a statement.” The project will share diverse points of view, from writers representing the different cultures and areas within Australia, which many would not readily associate with works of Shakespeare.”
Robbie and Brett Hedblom will executive produce via LuckyChap with Hoodlum’s Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield, Keli Lee from ABC Studios International and Sally Riley from ABC (Australia). Aran Michael from Aran Michael Management is an associate producer.
“The ABC is thrilled to be able to develop this locally produced drama in partnership with LuckyChap Entertainment, Hoodlum and ABC Studios International,” said David Anderson, Director of Entertainment and Specialist for the ABC. “The ABC is dedicated to delivering high quality, relevant storytelling free to all Australians. We are excited that this female-led team celebrates strong female creative talent, transforming traditional classic tales from a very different era into modern and culturally diverse stories.”
Tracey Robertson from Hoodlum said: “This project will bring together leading and emerging female voices in Australian screen to re-imagine Shakespeare in a modern context. We’re delighted to partner with ABC, ABC Studios International and LuckyChap on such an ambitious and exciting project. This is an incredibly original and bold approach for a Television series and I can’t wait to see the stories that will emerge.”
“ABC Studios International is thrilled to be a partner in this unique project, added Keli Lee, Managing Director at ABC Studios International. “This production is a chance to create something classic yet boldly original and modern. The works of Shakespeare are iconic and this will present them in a way they’ve never been seen before.”
ABC Studios International, Hoodlum and the ABC previously teamed on crime drama series Harrow, which was co-created by Secrets & Lies writer Stephen M. Irwin and producer Leigh McGrath and written by Irwin.
LuckyChap was behind I, Tonya. After its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Neon and 30WEST jointly acquired the title for $5M and churned out close to $30M at the domestic B.O. as well as three Oscar noms for Robbie as Best Actress, Allison Janney for Supporting Actress and Best Film Editing, with Janney winning. LuckyChap recently produced the Vaughn Stein-directed title Terminal starring Robbie, Simon Pegg and Mike Myers, and also completed Dreamland starring the actress and Travis Fimmel. The label also recently sold the comedy Dollface to Hulu. Back in December it was announced that LuckyChap closed a two-year first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television.
Disney Media Distribution will handle international distribution of the series outside of Australia.