There are two aspects to HBO’s relationship with Tranter and Gardner, who were responsible for such shows as “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood” and “Da Vinci’s Demons.”
First, the companies have agreed to a non-exclusive first-look deal. Second, they are forming a broader partnership that relates to helping foster HBO’s ties with the U.K. production community.
“The best way of describing it is we are HBO’s people in the U.K.,” Tranter told Variety in an exclusive interview that is published in the magazine today. “Our task is to ensure that HBO are across anything and everything that they might want to be in terms of writers, directors, actors and producers, not limited to Bad Wolf, bringing to HBO’s attention the many exciting things that are happening in the U.K.”
HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said: “HBO has long enjoyed a successful collaboration with Jane Tranter, whose unique creative talents have produced a track record second to none. As we enter into this next phase with Jane and Julie Gardner and their new endeavors at Bad Wolf, we are thrilled to continue and enhance our artistic partnership with them.”
Tranter and Gardner’s relationship with HBO is a longstanding one. Tranter first worked with Lombardo in the early 1990s on shows like “Rome” and “Band of Brothers,” and they have worked together over the past seven years on three seasons of “Getting On,” and “Crime,” a Steven Zaillian miniseries based on the BBC drama “Criminal Justice,” which is in development.
Bad Wolf, which has offices in Los Angeles and South Wales, is producing a major television series based on Philip Pullman’s trilogy of fantasy novels “His Dark Materials” for the BBC, in partnership with New Line Cinema. The series is likely to run over five seasons, with eight episodes in each. It will be executive produced by Pullman, Tranter and Gardner for Bad Wolf, Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line Cinema, and Deborah Forte for Scholastic.
“That really is a classic example of the kind of thing Bad Wolf will be working on: An outstanding piece of modern literature that has an appeal that is both broad in terms of demographic and global appeal, and yet is absolutely specific in terms of character, emotion, theme and world,” Tranter said.
Variety can also exclusively reveal that the company is developing an adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s trilogy “The Warlord Chronicles,” which is a revisionist take on the King Arthur legend. “He is a great storyteller as we know from everything from ‘Sharpe’ to ‘The Last Kingdom,’” Gardner said. “He has a very innovative way into the Arthurian stories, which is to take an ordinary man who by work, chance and life is an observer and an intimate in the relationships of Arthur, Lancelot and the key characters that we know.”