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‘The Man in the High Castle’ Producer Stewart Mackinnon Launches Circle Pictures (EXCLUSIVE)

As Amazon prepares to launch the fourth and final season of “The Man in the High Castle” on Friday, the show’s exec producer, Stewart Mackinnon, has gone out of the gate with Circle Pictures. The newly minted production outfit will, Mackinnon told Variety, work across TV and film, and will major on drama projects with a purpose.

Mackinnon was co-founder and CEO of Headline Pictures until earlier this year, one of the production companies making Philip K. Dick adaptation “The Man in the High Castle,” and behind shows including ITV’s “Peter & Wendy,” starring Stanley Tucci and which  won an International Emmy.

He has also produced films including Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut “Quartet” under the Headline banner, having co-founded the company with the late Mark Shivas, a former BBC head of drama.

“Whether it’s for a broadcaster or one of the new platforms, my interest is always in telling stories that have strong underlying themes,” Mackinnon said. “They may be fun, they may be serious, but they also need to carry something else as well.”

Amazon took “The Man in the High Castle” around the world as one of its first originals and the advent of global platforms mean a guaranteed audience for the type of content in which Circle will specialize, said its founder.

“If you aggregate [viewers] around the world, what’s interesting is you can do things that are profound, that might not be mass-market, but will appeal to a distinct group,” Mackinnon said. “Viewers nowadays are aggregating their drama much like they do their news and we are going to meet their demands by delivering content that has something meaningful to say.”

The new London-based banner is privately backed and, without an industry backer, a true indie. The word the seasoned producer keeps returning to in conversation is “purpose,” and Circle’s output will tackle environmental, social and political concerns accordingly. There is a development slate that spans international series, period drama, a trio of movie projects, and family-skewed animation. The first projects are funded and set to be unveiled soon.

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