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Julian Fellowes' ‘Titanic’ green lit
24 Mar 2011 :
ITV Studios Global Entertainment, ITV Studios, Lookout Point, Global TV and ABC Television are currently in pre-production with ‘Titanic’, a new co-production which sees Samson Films’ David Collins (The Moth Diaries) on board as one of the drama’s co-producers. TV3 have already signed on as the Irish broadcaster for the grand scale drama, written by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) which is to start shooting in Hungary later this spring.

The epic drama is being produced as a 2 x 90 minute and 4 x 1 hour mini series and will start filming in Hungary in late Spring. ‘Titanic’ will chronicle the ship’s last hours and is scheduled to broadcast globally to coincide with the centenary anniversary of the ship’s sinking in April 1912. Confirmed Broadcast Partners thus far include Ireland’s TV3; ITV 1 for the UK; ABC Television Network for the U.S.; Global for Canadian audiences; Australia’s Channel Seven; SVT for Sweden; Portugal’s SIC and TVNZ for New Zealand. The television event is scheduled to coincide with the centenary of the tragic event and will simulcast on Global and ABC followed closely by premieres in all other territories.

Many stories will be interwoven in the drama with many action, mystery and romantic plot lines featuring both fictional and historical characters explored. ‘Titanic’ will focus on different characters ranging from steerage passengers to upper class guests and each point of view will culminate in a cliff hanger as the ship begins to founder eventually drawing together each of the stories. Cast and budget information is TBC.

Speaking about his involvement, David Collins tells IFTN he is excited about the upcoming production: ”It is so great that an Irish broadcaster like TV3 and that we here in Samson Films are involved with this project that really does speak to us in Ireland,” he explains. ”It is such an iconic event and, of course, Julian Fellowes’ script for the drama is so sharp and compelling. Also, as ever, he has concentrated on the class issues of the time and that emerges very strongly in this project. We really are delighted to be involved with such an ambitious project.”

Discussing the global broadcasting of the drama, Shaw Media & Global’s Senior Vice President of content, Barbara Williams commented that "Despite its legendary fate, on the whole, the Titanic remains a mystery to most, which explains the public’s never ending fascination. From the vision of one of the industry’s finest writers, we’re able to delve a little deeper into the grey areas by way of the characters and their unique perspectives. This is an amazing collaboration with our Canadian producers and the international broadcasters, and a befitting tribute to this moment in history.”

ITV Studios is partnered with Deep Indigo Productions and Lookout Point in the UK, Sienna Films Inc in Canada and Hungary based Mid Atlantic Films to produce this UK-Hungary-Canada co-production. Titanic is to be produced by Nigel Stafford-Clark (Bleak House, Warriors) and Chris Thompson (Love Actually, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency) and the drama is executive produced by Samson Films’ David Collins; Lookout Point’s Simon Vaughan (Ben Hur, Coco Chanel) together with ITV’s Kate Bartlett (Identity, Vera), Sienna Films’ Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny (Diamonds) and Mid Atlantic Films’ Howard Ellis and Adam Goodman (The Borgias, Pillars of The Earth).

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