×

Luminary Picks Up Podcast on U.K.’s Great Train Robbery of 1963

Premium podcast company Luminary Media later this year will launch “Villains,” a 13-part show about the U.K.’s Great Train Robbery, under a multi-series pact with Mosaic Media’s new podcast production company, Ninth Planet Audio.

“Villains” is currently in production from executive producers Will Green and Aaron Ginsburg at The Cut, and Ben Adair at Western Sound. The show tells the story of a group of self-described British “villains” who pulled off the largest cash heist in Britain’s history in August 1963 — making off with a massive haul of £2.6 million in cash (worth around $67 million today) before 12 men identified as being involved in the heist were apprehended and jailed.

The podcast is hosted by Green (pictured above), an L.A.-based movie and TV producer whose credits with The Cut include “Vital Signs,” a scripted drama starring Dr. Dre for Apple, and two seasons of “Snatch” for Crackle.

Green said he grew up in London listening to stories of the Great Train Robbery because his own father mingled with some of the figures tied to the case, including famous gangster Freddie Foreman. For “Villains,” Green has conducted interviews with Foreman as well as with the wives and children of some of the participants in the historic caper.

Popular on Variety

Originally, Green said, he was thinking about pitching a TV show or movie documentary about the Great Train Robbery. He said the cost of producing 13 one-hour podcast episodes was roughly what it would cost to hire a scriptwriter for a feature-length project; eventually, the “Villains” podcast series could be adapted for television or film.

Producing a podcast show, though, is “a lot more work than I ever imagined,” Green said. “I never realized that talking so much was such hard work.”

“Villains” is the second show from Ninth Planet set to launch on Luminary. The first was nonfiction docuseries “Telephone Stories: The Trials of Michael Jackson,” a 13-part series which debuted in May and whose final seven episodes will be be released on Luminary starting July 28 on a weekly basis. Hosted by Brandon Ogborn and Omar Crook, the docuseries looks at the 1993 criminal investigation of sexual abuse by Michael Jackson and his criminal trial in 2005. Ogborn interviews Jackson’s attorneys and friends who defended him, the investigators and prosecutors who tried to convict him, along with journalists who covered the saga.

“Ninth Planet’s partnership with Luminary opened the door for Mosaic Media to further expand our portfolio and digital platform,” Mosaic principal Jimmy Miller said in a statement.

L.A.-based Mosaic Media is a management and production company representing clients including actors like Will Ferrell, Jessica Chastain, Tessa Thompson, and Kumail Nanjiani as well as writers and directors like Judd Apatow, Jay Roach and Barry Sonnenfeld. The company’s production arm has produced film and TV projects including “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” “Stepbrothers,” “Bad Teacher,” “Downward Dog” and “Weird City.”

Luminary’s premium podcast subscription service is $7.99 per month, with a lineup slated to include more than 40 shows and 1,000-plus hours of exclusive shows this year.

More Digital

  • GDC

    Next Month's GDC Cancelled After Companies Pull Out Over Coronavirus Concerns

    The annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) scheduled for next month in San Francisco has been cancelled after multiple companies said they were sitting it out over fears of the coronavirus outbreak. However, GDC organizers said they planned to hold an event later this summer. GDC was set to run March 16-20 at the Moscone Center [...]

  • Netflix in Nigeria

    Netflix's Head of African Originals Lays Out Streamer's Plans for the Continent (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos and a team of high-level executives have spent the week crisscrossing the African continent, wooing local creators and touting plans to thrust the continent center-stage as the streaming giant’s first African original series, “Queen Sono,” drops worldwide on Friday. Sarandos took the mic at a splashy event in Lagos [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Everything Coming to Netflix in March

    Netflix is adding a robust line-up of popular programs to its slate in March. In addition to rom-coms like Matthew Mcconaughey’s “Ghosts of Girlfriend’s Past,” “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “Always a Bridesmaid,” the streamer is also adding a few classics like “Goodfellas” and “The Shawshank Redemption” starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. [...]

  • Illustration of the video streaming company

    Coronavirus Spread Benefits Netflix, Other 'Stay-at-Home' Companies, Analysts Say

    Amid fears over a global economic slowdown from the widening coronavirus outbreak, companies like Netflix that provide in-home services are best positioned to withstand the storm or even see upside from the crisis, according to industry analysts. Netflix “is an obvious beneficiary if consumers stay home due to coronavirus (COVID-19 virus) concerns, and this has [...]

  • YouTube TV

    YouTube TV Is Dropping Fox Regional Sports Nets, YES Network After Sinclair Standoff

    YouTube TV, Google’s internet pay-TV service, said it will drop the Fox regional sports networks and the YES Network from customer lineups this Saturday, Feb. 29 — citing an impasse in negotiations with Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns the RSNs. “We purchase rights from Sinclair to distribute content to you,” the YouTube TV account said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content