$40 mil mini stars McShane, Sutherland

BERLIN — The U.K.’s Channel 4 has picked up the miniseries adaptation of Ken Follett’s bestselling “The Pillars of the Earth” from Munich-based Tandem Communications.

Directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (“Heroes”), the $40 million, eight-hour mini, starring Ian McShane, Hayley Atwell (“Captain America”), Rufus Sewell and Donald Sutherland, is set in 12th-century England against a backdrop of war, political turmoil and religious strife and follows the building of a Gothic cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge.

Produced by Tandem and Montreal-based Muse Entertainment in association with Scott Free Films, “Pillars” airs in the U.S. on Starz this summer. The series also pre-sold early on to Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1, Canada’s CBC and the Movie Network, Spain’s Sogecable, Hungary’s TV2 and ORF in Austria, and Stateside to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for DVD.

“Epic in scale and ambitious in its storytelling, this miniseries is sure to spellbind viewers and is the perfect addition to our acquired programs,” said Channel 4’s Tim Highsted.

Exec producer and Scott Free chairman Ridley Scott added: “It was always our intention to make ‘Pillars’ fresh and accessible to modern-day audiences — nothing stuffy here. Channel 4 has always been on the cutting edge, which makes this a wonderful match.”

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