Britannia, Sky and Amazon’s new historical series, directed by Jez Butterworth, was screend in world premiere on October 16, 2017 at MIPCOM in Cannes.
Britannia, the series produced by Rick McCallum (Star Wars), is a new original creation written by Jez Butterworth, Tom Butterworth (Fortitude, Tin Star) and Richard McBrien (Spooks, Merlin). Filmed in Prague and Wales, the historic nine-episode series is set in 43 AD, at the time when Britain was called Britannia, a Celtic territory led by warrior queens and powerful druids that the Roman invasion of the Emperor Claude tries to crush. The creators of the series and the actors came to Cannes to present this first Sky and Amazon coproduction at MIPCOM.
Kelly Reilly (Flight, True Detective) plays the role of Kerra, daughter of the king of Cantii, who has no choice but to unite with her forever rival, Queen Antedia played by Zoë Wanamaker (Harry Potter, Love Hurts), to fight against the Roman invasion. The Roman army is led by General Aulus Plautius, played by David Morrissey (The Walking Dead, The Missing), determined to succeed where Julius Caesar had failed and to crush the mythical Celtic heart of Britannia.
The druid Divis (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), who predicted the arrival of the Romans, will baulk at nothing to defeat Rome. In his quest, he finds an unexpected ally in the person of Cait (Eleanor Worthington Cox), a 12-year-old Cantii girl. The distribution of Britannia is completed by Hugo Speer (The Musketeers), Stanley Weber (Outlander) and Ian McDiarmid (Utopia).
Dark forces of the underground
On a script by Jez Butterworth, the epic Britannia takes place in 43 AD and tells the return, a century after the failure of Julius Cesar, of the Roman army on these mysterious lands. Claude’s imperial army faces Celts with magical beliefs, led by warrior queens and powerful druids who call upon the dark forces of the underground world to help them in their fight. In addition to being fierce warriors, the deep magic belief system of the Celts made them almost invincible.
World premiere at MIPCOM
During the avant première screening at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, Jane Millichip, Managing Director, Sky Vision, said: “With 5500 hours of production, this series is the most ambitious project ever carried by Sky. Britannia is a film-quality series and the result on large screen will be breathtaking, and we are thrilled that Sky is premiering the Britannia series at MIPCOM”.
Laurine Garaude, Director of Reed MIDEM’s Television Division, concluded with these words: “It is an honor for us to welcome on the Croisette the creators and the actors of the series Britannia, a first co-production highly anticipated by buyers in Cannes.”
A common will
The series Britannia was born of the common will of Anne Mensah, Head of Drama, Sky, Cameron Roach (Commissioning Editor) and Adam MacDonald, Director of Sky 1) and Roy Price, Vice President of Digital Video and Amazon Studios. James Richardson (Monsters, Bronson) from Vertigo Films, Sam Mendes (Pippa Harris), Nicolas Brown (Neal Street Productions – Penny Dreadful, Call the Midwife) and Anne Thomopoulos (Rome, Band of Brothers), are the executive producers. International distribution rights (outside the United States) are managed by Sky Vision, Sky’s branch in charge of international production and distribution. The partnership with Amazon has been negotiated by WME and Sky Vision.
Britannia will be aired in 2018 in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Austria on Sky Atlantic and will also be released online in 2018 in the US on Amazon Prime Video.
Preceded by MIPJunior, MIPCOM is the world’s largest annual market for entertainment content for television and all platforms. The major players in the television industry meet every year in autumn in Cannes to create a new world of entertainment. For one week, meetings, screenings and conferences enable the setting up of partnerships and numerous international agreements of production and distribution.
Britannia au MIPCOM 2017
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