Following on from their collaboration on Stateless and the upcoming ABC drama Fires, Liz Watts has signed an overall television deal with Matchbox Pictures.
The deal will see the NBC Universal-owned company work with Watts to develop and produce high-end television projects for the Australian and global market.
Watts was an executive producer on Matchbox’s Stateless for the ABC/Netflix, and is also serving as executive producer on Fires, a six-part anthology co-created by Tony Ayres and Belinda Chayko, drawing on the experiences of those who had their lives devastated by last summer’s bushfires. The series is expected to into production later this year, from scripts penned by Chayko, Jacquelin Perske, Mirrah Foulkes, Steven McGregor and Anya Beyersdorf.
Matchbox MD Alastair McKinnon said: “Liz’s incredible skill set and wealth of experience across film and TV make her the perfect addition to the exceptional talent we have at Matchbox. She has already been such a great creative partner, so I can’t wait to see what more we can do together to truly realise our ambitions of creating universal content.”
Watts added: “I couldn’t be more excited about this new partnership and to be working closely with the team at Matchbox. We share a commitment to creating unique and compelling stories, which I’m looking forward to showcasing to Australian and International audiences.”
Watts was a founding partner in Porchlight Films, which ended operations last June after 23 years, with a credit list that spanned projects such as Animal Kingdom, True History of the Kelly Gang, The King, Mary Magdalene, Lore and Little Fish.
Since, Watts has launched her own venture Spirit Pictures, through which she is developing The Twelve for Foxtel with Warner Bros. Television International Australia. The 10-part drama, which follows a murder trial from the perspective of the jurors, is based on the Flemish-language Belgian drama by the same name (De Twaalf).
Watts’ feature development slate will remain outside the Matchbox deal.