Fremantle strikes TV deal with AWA backed by James and Liz Murdoch – Deadline
american gods The Fremantle producer has struck a strategic development deal with the film and television arm of graphic drama company AWA, whose backers include James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and Sister, his sister Elisabeth’s production company.
AWA (Artists, Writers & Artisans) launched its content division last year with Hollywood veteran Zach Studin as chairman and will now work with Fremantle to identify and co-develop a slate of television projects based on its intellectual property. AWA’s talent roster includes J. Michael Straczynski, Mike Deodato, and Garth Ennis.
Fremantle will lead project finance and development finance, oversee physical production and sell the resulting shows internationally.
Former John Wells Productions and Lionsgate executive Studin will oversee the partnership on behalf of AWA. “This cutting-edge partnership with Fremantle continues AWA Studios’ mission on behalf of our artists, writers and craftspeople – to bring their extraordinary stories to global audiences with world-class management,” he said.
Global Drama’s Fremantle President, Christian Vesper, said: “This partnership will be a major benefit for both of us, providing Fremantle with a unique opportunity to explore new ideas and original stories from exceptionally talented artists and writers. – and in return, providing a creative home of significant scale where AWA will benefit from a holistic approach.
AWA, which sold its millionth comic this year, was founded in 2018 by former Marvel execs Bill Jemas and Axel Alonso and Hollywood marketer Jon Miller. The society aims to defend artists and writers and allow them to retain ownership of their ideas – the Fremantle deal in theory gives them a more direct route into the TV community.
Last year, Warner Bros. won an auction for a film adaptation of Bryan Edward Hill’s AWA-published graphic novel Tankwith Joseph Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick) director, Julian Meiojas (Jack Ryan) adapting and 21 Rounds attached to and producing partner, as Deadline revealed at the time.
For Fremantle, the operation comes at a busy time, during which it took control of Pembrokeshire Murders producer Dancing Ledge Productions and signed a first agreement with Escape from Dannemora EP Nicholas Weinstock. He is also attached to an upcoming drama from Misha Osherovich.