DEADLINE – Sin City star Eva Green and The Knick’s Eve Hewson are to star in BBC Two adaptation of The Luminaries.
The pair will star in the six-part drama, produced by Working Title Television alongside New Zealand actor Marton Csokas, who starred in Lord of the Rings.
Green plays Lydia Wells, while Hewson stars as Anna Wetherell and Csokas stars as Francis Carver.
The drama is based on Eleanor Catton’s 2013 Man Booker Prize winner The Luminaries. She adapts. The period tale of adventure and mystery is set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the boom years of the 1860s gold rush. It’s billed as an epic story of love, murder and revenge, as men and women traveled across the world to make their fortunes.
Working Title Television will produce for BBC Two and TVNZ with Catton and WTT’s Andrew Woodhead, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner exec producing. Lucy Richer exec produces for the BBC.
Kicking off in 1865, the story follows defiant young adventurer Anna Wetherell, who has sailed from Britain to New Zealand to begin a new life. There she meets the radiant Emery Staines, an encounter that triggers a strange kind of magic that neither can explain. But Anna must survive the dangerous world, where shipwreck and murder, blackmail and betrayal, greed, gold and false imprisonment all conspire to keep her apart from Emery. The star-crossed lovers begin to wonder: Do we make our fortunes, or do our fortunes make us?
DEADLINE – Cinemax has made it official — Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick will not produce more seasons beyond the two that already had aired. Clive Owen, who starred in the first two seasons, had said that he was done, though the network had left the door slightly open for another installment with a new lead actor. Cinemax will now focus completely on its recalibrated original programming strategy — launched recently with the pickups of new Strike Back series and Rellik — as the network is returning to the type of fare that launched its push into original primetime series: fun, high-octane, action, pulpy, straight-to-series dramas done in a cost-effective way primarily as international co-productions. Here is the statement by Cinemax’s programming chief Kary Antholis:
“After a critically acclaimed two-season run of The Knick on Cinemax, we will not be going forward with additional episodes of the series,” said Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming. “Despite our pride in and affection for the series, as well as our respect for and gratitude towards Steven Soderbergh and his team, we have decided to return Cinemax to its original primetime series fare of high-octane action dramas, many of which will be internationally co-produced.”
The Knick was part of a push into high-end, homegrown drama series initiative at HBO sibling Cinemax. It started with Banshee, which ran for four seasons, followed by The Knick, Outcast, whose second season doesn’t have a premiere date yet, and Quarry, whose renewal for a second season appears unlikely. In an interview with Deadline in December, when Cinemax’s shift to action drama co-productions was announced, Antholis called The Knick “one of the most rewarding creative experiences of my career,” “Critics loved the show, and I can’t tell you how many studio executives around town have told me it’s their favorite show on television, but it did not find an audience at the level that Banshee did. Even though in terms of an HBO show, The Knick is a modestly priced show, in terms of a Cinemax show, it started to throw our budget out of whack.”