MIPCOM: Makever’s Vema Prod. Nabs French Rights to David Wolstencroft’s Thriller ‘The Escape Artist’

Makever-owned Vema Production has acquired French rights to David Wolstencroft’s crime thriller “The Escape Artist” (pictured above) from Red Arrow International.

Commissioned by leading commercial network TF1, the French redo will be helmed by Pierre Aknine and will comprise two 90-minute episode. The Gallic cast is led by Gregory Fitoussi (“Spiral,” “World War Z”), Joey Starr (“Polisse”) and Mélanie Doutey (“The Connection”). The two-parter chronicles the life of Thomas Schaffner, a talented junior attorney who becomes the target of a revenge attack.

The French show will start shooting in October and will roll out on TF1 in 2016.

Henrik Pabst, managing director of Red Arrow International said the show “is set to be a huge hit, and follow the success of our other scripted formats on French television including ‘Falco’ on TF1.”

The original BBC One series starred David Tennant, Toby Kebbell, Sophie Okonedo and Ashley Jensen. It was produced by Hilary Bevan Jones and Paul Frift for Endor Productions, and created by Wolstencroft, who is showrunning the anticipated high-profile French drama “Versailles” with Simon Mirren.

“The Escape Artist” deal is one of the flurry of deals closed by Makever’s umbrella companies – MakingProd, Mademoiselle Films and Vema Production — in the run up to MIPCOM.

Matthieu Viala, CEO and Founder of Makever, says: “Makever has risen to the changing market demands by delivering new and exciting formats across all platforms in order to reach new audiences. By building strong and sustainable relationships in international markets with partners and co-producers, we have secured one of our strongest slates of scripted content to date, designed to appeal to broadcasters all over the world.”

Mademoiselle Films sold U.S. rights of French fashion drama “Haute-Couture” to The Mark Gordon Company; while MakingProd is developing two internationally-driven series “Destination Mars” and period drama “Salazar.”

“Destination Mars” is an ambitious high-concept drama series produced by MakingProd, Laurence Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Productions, Russia’s Star Media and Poland’s Cynergy Films. The 10-episode skein follows a group of international astronauts struggling to survive after they crash land on Mars. While facing the unknown and their worst fears, they discover that the red planet may not be as dead as they believe.

Another international co-production, “Salazar” is co-produced with Spain’s Plano a Plano and repped by Eccho Rights. Based on a true story, the eight-part drama turns on an entire village trapped into a conspiracy orchestrated to protect the interests of Spanish Navarra and the French Labourd’s feudal lords.

Both “Destination Mars” and “Salazar” are exec produced by Stéphane Drouet..

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