LONDON — Stephen Garrett, founder of “MI-5” and “Life on Mars” producer Kudos, has launched production company Character Seven, which is developing “The Rook,” a London-set supernatural series for Hulu, with “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer’s company Fickle Fish and Lionsgate.
Garrett, who co-founded Kudos in 1992 and was later joint managing director with Jane Featherstone, oversaw a run of TV series hits including “MI-5” (known as “Spooks” in the U.K.), “Hustle” and “Life on Mars.” As a film producer and executive producer, Garrett’s credits include “Eastern Promises,” “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.”
Since leaving the Endemol Shine Group-owned company in 2014, Garrett has been working on projects that bring together international talents. His first credit under Character Seven, in partnership with the Ink Factory, is the John le Carré adaptation “The Night Manager,” starring Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Elizabeth Debicki. The six-part series will be shown on BBC in March and AMC in the U.S. in April.
Garrett said: “There is no longer a barrier between television storytelling and film storytelling. The creative talent is flowing both ways, and it respects neither national boundaries nor the size of the screen. I have always been excited by new types of story and new ways of telling them. With Character Seven I hope I can take this passion to the next level.”
“The Night Manager,” which Garrett exec produced, is helmed by Oscar-winning Danish director Susanne Bier. Character Seven collaborated with Le Carré’s sons Simon and Stephen Cornwell of the Ink Factory.
Garrett said: “I have enormously enjoyed my partnership with the Cornwells. They share both my love for storytelling and my desire to nurture new voices, as well as old. The fact that le Carré inspired my desire to first develop ‘Spooks’ means that everything has come full circle.”
Simon Cornwell said: “It’s been thrilling to work on ‘The Night Manager’ with Stephen Garrett. His combination of deep experience, creative insight and instinctive understanding of the evolution of the medium has brought something very special to the production. We are delighted to see Character Seven emerge as what will undoubtedly be a strong and innovative force in television on both sides of the Atlantic.”