Grail quest bestseller gets miniseries adaptation

Scott Free and Tandem Communications are heading back to the dark days of the Crusades and Cathar massacres in France for “Labyrinth,” a TV miniseries adaptation of Kate Mosse’s international bestseller.

Teaming up again after partnering on the successful TV adaptation of Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth,” Ridley and Tony Scott’s London-based shingle and Tandem in Munich will produce the four-hour event miniseries, which Adrian Hodges (“Primeval”) is adapting.

Published in 2005, the bestseller tells two connected stories set 800 years apart — that of a modern-day archaeologist who makes a startling discovery in a cave in the south of France, and that of a young woman living in nearby Carcassone in 1209. A stronghold of the outlawed Cathar Christians, the city becomes a military target after the Catholic Church declares the sect heretical.

“Labyrinth” will shoot in southern France this fall with delivery scheduled for spring 2012.

Ridley Scott said the “story affords us the opportunity to create exciting drama that will thrill and delight the book’s readers worldwide and the viewers who’ll be discovering it for the first time.

“We look forward to this new chapter in the long-standing relationship between Tandem and Scott Free, and also to bringing the quality that has become the hallmark of our joint efforts with Tandem to yet another piece of event television.”

Tandem co-topper Tim Halkin added, “It’s the entire package that makes this perfect for event television programming. Kate Mosse’s book brings a worldwide awareness and built-in fan-base along with an amazing concept.”

Tandem is also set to start production this year on the eight-hour TV adaptation of “World Without End,” Follett’s sequel to “Pillars.”

The company is in post-production with “Treasure Guards,” an event movie shot in South Africa and starring Anna Friel and Raoul Bova. Last year Tandem produced the SyFy Channel movie “The Lost Future,” starring Sean Bean, which also shot on location in South Africa.

Scott Free’s upcoming productions include Kevin Macdonald’s documentary “Life in a Day,” the story of a single day on Earth using local footage from around the globe, which will be released July 24, as well as sci-fi thriller “Prometheus,” starring Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace, which is slated for a 2012 release.

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