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Endemol ropes in Michael Hirst, Shekhar Kapur for The Ibis Trilogy

Abhishek Rege
Abhishek Rege

Global content creator, producer and distributor Endemol Shine Group announces the latest high- profile talent to join forces in the development of The Ibis Trilogy, a major high-end production for the global market.

Internationally acclaimed screenwriter Michael Hirst, who is behind the Oscar-winning historical film ‘Elizabeth’ and TV series such as ‘Vikings’ and ‘The Tudors’ has signed to bring Amitav Ghosh’s blockbuster novels The Ibis Trilogy to life.

Shekhar Kapur, the award-winning film director behind ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’ as well as Bollywood smash hit ‘Bandit Queen’ will direct the series.  

Amitav Ghosh’s masterpiece The Ibis Trilogy begins with ‘Sea of Poppies’, continues with ‘River of Smoke’ and concludes with ‘Flood of Fire’, is seen as a landmark of twenty-first century literature. Set in mid-nineteenth century Asia, the exotic series begins in India and will interweave the lives of vividly drawn characters against the backdrop of the opium wars between Britain and China. 

The Ibis Trilogy combines a huge narrative sweep to explore the iniquities of colonialism and the seeds of modern capitalism fuelled by the trade in opium with finely drawn, psychologically rich characterisation of people from multiple different nationalities and walks of life who are swept into the vortex of history.

Tiger Aspect will lead production with newly appointed Head of Drama, Lucy Bedford joining executive producers Gub Neal, Justin Thomson and Jeremy Gawade (DoveTale Media). Story Editor Justin Pollard will serve as Co-Executive Producer. Headed up by Abhishek Rege, Endemol Shine India are also on board in the development of the project.

Lars Blomgren, Head of Scripted for EMEA at Endemol Shine Group says; “Since Abhishek brought The Ibis Trilogy to our attention over a year ago, it’s been a joy to bring together a talented and passionate team - to supercharge this high-end, multi-layered journey. Michael Hirst has a distinctive writing style which appeals to a contemporary audience - and this paired with Shekhar’s vision - puts us in an excellent position to take a fully developed package to the global market in the new year.” 

Michael Hirst says; “It’s absolutely magic to be working with Shekhar Kapur once again to create a historic world of characters that the audience can universally connect with. The Ibis Trilogy is an extraordinary series of novels, which delivers the material to create an impressive, exciting and unique television series with both commercial and critical appeal. I’m thrilled to be working on this project which will take television drama into new worlds and new opportunities and will tell the story of the Opium Wars from an Indian and Chinese perspective.”

Abhishek Rege, CEO Endemol Shine India says; “It is amazing to see such a talented team come together to visualise Amitav Gosh’s outstanding novel series. This was exactly what we had in mind when we first pursued the project, bringing the best talent from across the globe together to create a drama showing the intricacies of the characters and the era.”

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