Benedict Cumberbatch & Claire Foy To Lead Channel 4’s ‘Mog’s Christmas’ Adaptation
Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy are leading the voice cast for Channel 4’s latest Judith Kerr Christmas animation, Mog’s Christmas. The pair, who combined for 2021’s The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, will play Mr and Mrs Thomas and feature as part of a stellar cast that includes narrator Adjoa Andoh (Bridgerton), Miriam Margolyes, Maggie Steed, Zawe Ashton and Charlie Higson. Universal Pictures Content Group and Lupus Films’ adaptation follows the Thomas’s attempts to rescue their cat from the top of a tree. Despite everyone’s fears, Mog has a magical night in the snow with a cat-themed Christmas dream. “This festive, family-friendly tale has huge cross generational appeal and is the perfect literary classic to adapt for the whole family to come together to watch,” said Ruth Fielding, Lupus Films Producer and Co-Founder. The Mog series of books started with Mog the Forgetful Cat in 1970. Channel 4’s Emmy-winning adaptation of Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea was the network’s third highest-rated show of 2019.
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ITV Renews ‘Harry Potter’ Deal With WBD
The Harry Potter film franchise is remaining on ITV in the UK. The network has struck a deal that for the first time gives it free-to-air and catch-up rights for streamer ITVX for the eight Harry Potter movies, plus Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Also included is the UK network premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, which will run on the main ITV networks before being made available on ITVX. Securing streaming rights has become a priority for ITV, especially since the late 2022 launch and early growth of ITVX. The new deal runs from mid-2023 to the end of 2025.
Film & TV Charity Launches Program For Under-Served Creatives
The UK’s Film & TV Charity has launched a program aimed at creating spaces and opportunities for under-served creatives in the film and TV industry. Partnering with social enterprise The Kusp, the charity will seek Black and Global Majority and other creative talent in Brighton, Bristol, and Manchester, with a program of social mixers to encourage networking and enable introductions to industry professionals; panel discussions to provide space for specialists in the industry to give insight and advice to burgeoning creatives; and liaisons with universities and local creative organizations to expand their networks. The events will take place in September. “At the Film and TV Charity we are committed to improving equitable mental, social, and financial wellbeing for everyone in the industry,” said Lajaune Lincoln, the charity’s Head of Client Services. “Our partnership with The Kusp can really help us deliver against that aim, reaching industry professionals of the future and helping them to engage with the opportunities that support their professional and personal wellbeing and enabling them to thrive right from the beginning of their careers.”
Sky Studios Signs BBC Scripted Exec
Sky Studios has signed one of the BBC execs responsible for the Doctor Who rebrand as Director of Production. Rebecca O’Connor will report into Sky Studios COO Caroline Cooper, who told staff in an internal note that the hire comes after a streamlining and processes review over the past few months. Production teams led by Jo Hunter (comedy), Livia Burton (drama) and Eugenio Perez (in-house and partner projects) will report into O’Connor when she begins in August. At the BBC, O’Connor was Head of Business, Scripted, overseeing the drama, comedy and film slates. She was instrumental in the BBC’s response to the Covid crisis and oversaw the multimillion dollar rebuild of the EastEnders set and the re-brand of Doctor Who.
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