Newly formed literary management company International Literary Properties – which represents the works of authors such as “Maigret’s” Georges Simenon – has signed a first-look deal with BBC Studios, allowing both BBC Studios Production and its team of independent producers the chance to adapt for television the intellectual property owned and managed by ILP.
The London- and New York-based company, which was set up last year, holds the rights for authors including Simenon, Eric Ambler, Margery Allingham, Edmund Crispin, Dennis Wheatley, Robert Bolt, Richard Hull, George Bellairs, Nicolas Freeling, John Creasey and Michael Innes, as well as 20% of Evelyn Waugh’s estate.
This deal is the first major production partnership deal announced by ILP and demonstrates its willingness to “pro-actively manage its estates, providing new opportunities for exploitation across all media platforms,” according to a statement.
The company is helmed in the U.K. by CEO Hilary Strong, formerly CEO of the Agatha Christie estate, and Anthology Group founder Bob Benton, with the New York-headquartered business led by literary veteran Scott Hoffman as global CEO, and media entrepreneur Ted Green as executive chairman.
Strong said: “This first-look deal with BBC Studios provides ILP with the perfect global creative partner to promote Britain’s heritage in literature and rediscover these classic works through modern adaptations for a global audience. BBC Studios and its partner scripted production companies provide us with a very exciting opportunity to not only fast-track these works into production, but to make them with the high-end production values they deserve.”
She added that the company’s creative team, headed up by Emma Bell and Andy Brunskill, would be “producing creative bibles for each estate providing producers with a detailed catalog highlighting the opportunities they hold for screen adaptation.”
Mark Linsey, chief creative officer for BBC Studios, said: “Literary classics are timeless, and in the right creative hands can be adapted to feel contemporary and of the moment. We look actively for partnerships and collaborations which showcase British talent at its finest, and we’re excited about the creative opportunities that this deal provides.”
Past TV adaptations of Simenon’s “Maigret” novels include those starring Michael Gambon (pictured) and Rowan Atkinson.