×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lionsgate, Nevision Pact for Drama About Middle East Oil (EXCLUSIVE)

Lionsgate U.K. and Nevision are drilling into the simultaneously murky and glamorous world of the oil business in the Middle East in the 1970s. The British arm of the U.S. studio and the London-based indie are co-developing “Oil,” from Alan Whiting (“Kingdom”), Matthew Faulk (“Titanic: Blood and Steel”) and Mark Skeet (“Vanity Fair”).

The eight-part drama will be set in the Persian Gulf. It will blend the geopolitics of the oil business, the stories of the individuals concerned, and what happened in the compounds in which foreign executives and their families lived. Based on real historical events, the action will revolve around a British-American oil firm.

Lionsgate U.K.’s creative director, Steve November (pictured, left), said the setup offers the producers elements of period hit “Mad Men” and high-finance movie “The Wolf of Wall Street.” “This is the birth of the Emirates as we know it now, and at a time when these were feudal societies run by sheiks and princes,” November told Variety. “And that is mixed with the greed and colonialism of the West and all of these extraordinary characters.”

With such a valuable resource being fought over, the backdrop for the series is “a world of deceit and betrayal,” added Nevision executive producer Neil Zeiger (above right). The U.K. shingle was keen to bring in a studio partner on the project. “For us, it made complete sense to combine with Lionsgate,” Zeiger said. “It really worked creatively….That is the key. And Steve and Lionsgate provide the access that will accelerate it.”

November, the former ITV drama chief who has been at Lionsgate for 18 months, has teed up projects including “Jerusalem,” from Neil Jordan, and firefighter dramedy “Shout.” It has also invested in drama producers including Potboiler on his watch,

Speaking about “Oil,” he said: “It’s [about] the way the West carved up the Middle East and that battle for control for the greatest riches in the world. Equally, another element is the culture and glamour of the expat community living around the pool, their rather luxurious lifestyles, and the heady exoticism of the Middle East at the time.”

The creators of the show will executive produce alongside November, Lionsgate U.K. head of development Sarah Conroy, and Nevision’s Zeiger and Sharon Bloom.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Cody Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes. Professional wrestlers

    Listen: Brandi and Cody Rhodes Give Wrestlers’ Perspective to AEW

    Wrestlers and husband and wife duo Brandi and Cody Rhodes bring an inside the ring perspective to their executive roles at the nascent All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Cody Rhodes, executive vice president, and Brandi Rhodes, chief brand officer, spoke on Variety’s “TV Take” podcast with Joe Otterson about their new wrestling league.  AEW will put [...]

  • Ms Marvel She Hulk and Moon

    Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk Series Ordered at Disney Plus

    Marvel debuted three new series it has ordered for streaming service Disney Plus at D23 Expo: a live-action Ms. Marvel series, as well as two additional series based on Moon Knight and She-Hulk. “That’s three new series coming to the MCU, that’s what Disney Plus is allowing us to do,” said president of Marvel Studios [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Opposition Candidate Blasts Writers Guild Tactics Over Agencies

    Opposition candidate Nick Jones Jr. has condemned the tactics of the Writers Guild of America in its battle against Hollywood agents. “I believe we’ve disrupted ourselves more than we’ve disrupted the Big 4,” he said. Jones, who’s running for the secretary-treasurer post as part of Phyllis Nagy’s Writers Forward Together slate, is running on a [...]

  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend -- "Yes, It's Really

    Emmys: Netflix, 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Take Early Wins as TV Academy Announces Juried Awards

    Netflix is taking the early lead at this year’s Emmys race, with six wins, thanks to the Television Academy’s juried award winners for animation, choreography, interactive programming and motion design, which were announced on Friday. The outstanding individual achievement in animation category, a “juried” prize that means several, one or no winners could be named, [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Special Prosecutor Appointed to Investigate Why Jussie Smollett Charges Were Dropped

    A Chicago judge appointed former U.S. Attorney Dan K. Webb to investigate why local officials dropped charges against Jussie Smollett, who was accused of paying two accomplices to stage a racist and homophobic hate crime against himself. Cook County Judge Michael Toomin concluded a two month search beginning in June for a special prosecutor, landing [...]

  • 'Lizzie McGuire' Reboot Series in the

    'Lizzie McGuire' Reboot Series in the Works at Disney Plus

    Get excited “Lizzie McGuire” fans because a reboot series of the much loved Disney Channel teen show has been picked up at Disney Plus. Lizzie McGuire herself Hilary Duff, who is set to reprise the role, announced the series at Disney Plus’s D23 Expo event. Terri Minsky, who created the original, is also aboard the [...]

  • Disney Fans Lineup to Subscribe to

    Fans Line Up to Subscribe to Disney Plus at D23

    Disney fans lined up to be among the first to subscribe to the company’s forthcoming streaming service. The D23 Expo convention hall, filled with giant Marvel exhibits and cos-players also featured a kiosk to sign up for Disney Plus. The incentive? An offer to save $23 per year on a three-year subscription to the service. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content