Newly formed Prime Focus Productions -- an offshoot of the international VFX and CG conglomerate -- is create a live-action TV series based on characters of Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.
Discworld is one of the leading fantasy fiction franchises of all time, with 70 million worldwide sales of his 38-book Discworld books (rising to 39 following another book to be published in October). While there have been three successful mini-series adaptations of his Discworld books made for TV in the UK, this is the first time Pratchett has granted a production company the international rights to his characters and their world. The agreement will see Prime Focus Productions create a series of new stories exclusively for a television audience.
The main focus of the series will be the bustling and largely untrustworthy city of Ankh Morpork. It will follow the day-to-day activities of the men, women, trolls, dwarves, vampires and several other species who daily pound its ancient cobbles. The series is based around the popular City Watch police force, who will feature in a ‘crime of the week’ episodic storyline. As each weekly adventure unfolds, viewers will be taken on a ride through the city, with the author overseeing the creation of the series.
“I believe the globally successful Discworld franchise will readily translate to the small screen in the form of a high-end, mass appeal weekly drama series, giving the audience the anticipation and excitement of brand new Discworld stories every week through the medium of television, rather than books,” said Rod Brown, managing director of Prime Focus Productions. “It’s a huge responsibility to get this right for Terry, his legions of Discworld fans and the new followers that we’ll attract along the way. I believe they’ll be in for a treat with a high calibre writing team already attached, including Monty Python’s Terry Jones and Gavin Scott (Small Soldiers, The Borrowers). We’ve already spoken to a number of international broadcasters who’ve shown early interest and we hope to move forward very quickly to bring this exciting project to fruition.”
Terry says that he's "very excited and incredibly happy about this because Rod was co-head of the team that produced the very successful Sky One adaptations. My message of encouragement to him now is: don't bugger it up!”