Five more docus to follow 'Deep Blue'

Following their ground-breaking collaboration on the theatrical doc “Deep Blue,” BBC Worldwide and Germany’s Greenlight Media have struck a deal to co-produce another five natural-history films for the big screen.

“Deep Blue” is a theatrical version of the blockbuster BBC undersea series “The Blue Planet.”

It will premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival in September, and has already been sold to Kinowelt in Germany and Wanda in Spain, with deals about to close in France, Italy, Japan and other territories.

“We believe there’s a market for high-end natural history documentaries in the cinema — not 10 a year, but one or two,” says Greenlight CEO Stefan Beiten.

Greenlight and BBC Worldwide are 50/50 partners, with Greenlight handling worldwide sales through its Peppermint arm.

They have not yet settled on their next theatrical project, and are unlikely to do so until “Deep Blue” has been released. “We are looking at what new TV projects the BBC Natural History Unit is planning, to see what has theatrical potential. It needs to have a ‘wow’ effect,” says Beiten.

With “Deep Blue,” the co-producers went back to the thousands of hours of original footage to cut together a wholly new movie. “There’s not a single cut in the movie that’s the same as the TV series,” says Greenlight veepee of production Sophokles Tasioulis.

There are just 15 lines of narrative in the pic; specially composed music is by George Fenton, performed by the Berlin Philharmonic in their first ever movie score.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more