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Former Netflix Exec Erik Barmack Teams with ZDF, Werner Film on YA Series

Melina Marchetta’s young adult novel “On the Jellicoe Road” is being adapted for TV by Germany’s ZDF Enterprises, Australia’s Werner Film, and Wild Sheep Content, the fledgling production outfit formed by Erik Barmack, Netflix’s former head of international originals.

Australian author Marchetta’s book was first published in 2006 in Australia. It was published in the U.S. in 2008 with the shortened title “Jellicoe Road.”

The story centers on 17-year-old Taylor Markham, leader of an underground community at a boarding school. Abandoned by her mother when she was 11, and with little recollection of her father, Taylor has only her mentor and guardian Hannah as an adult influence in her life, who suddenly vanishes. There is also a territory war going on between the boarders, the kids from the local town, and a group of cadets training locally.

Development on the series is underway. Samantha Strauss (“H2O: Just Add Water”), Sarah Walker (“Wentworth”), and Angela Betzien (“Total Control”) are attached as writers.

Joanna Werner, executive producer at Werner Film Productions, said that “On The Jellicoe Road” is “an enthralling, sophisticated, complex and gripping teen story which I can’t wait to see on the screen.”

“Young adult series have become truly global, and we are thrilled to be working on bringing this seminal Australian work to a global audience with Werner Film Productions and ZDF Enterprises,” Barmack said.

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