Oz co-pro with Woman in Gold producer

24 July, 2015 by Don Groves

Essential Media and Entertainment will co-produce The Fabulist, a drama about a charismatic con artist in Victorian England, with the UK’s Archery Pictures.

UK-based Australian Adam Gyngell wrote the screenplay inspired by the true story of one of history’s greatest hoaxers.


Archery Pictures was launched last year by former head of Scott Free London Liza Marshall and Kris Thykier, who produced Simon Curtis’ Woman in Gold starring Helen Mirren.

Essential’s Ian Collie has been developing the project for two years with funding from Screen Australia. He was introduced to the Archery duo by Gyngell earlier this year and they decided to join forces.

Thykier’s credits include One Chance, I Give It A Year, Manors, Kick-Ass and Harry Brown. Marshall produced or exec produced Get Santa, Before I Go To Sleep, Welcome To The Punch and the upcoming Tom Hardy period TV drama Taboo.

Collie says, “The story has resonance now with the desire for fame and celebrity; the hoaxer was not motivated by money. The challenge is that you know from the outset that the character is a fraud so there is no mystery and we have to find ways of sustaining interest. When we’ve nailed the screenplay we will go out to cast.” No director is attached yet.

Gyngell works as a development executive at ITV Studios. His first feature screenplay is Deep Burial, a thriller set in a remote nuclear power plant where people have either gone mad or are no longer the men they claim to be, starring Tom Sizemore, Sarah Habel and Dominic Monaghan.

Screen Australia is also funding the development of  two Essential Media drama projects through its high-end  TV drama development fund.  Trust follows a documentary maker who sets out to do an expose on a shadowy movement which the media has labelled a dangerous cult.

Sarah Lambert created the concept and will co-write with Blake Ayshford and Kris Mrksa, produced by Collie. Richard Roxburgh is attached to play the cult leader. A US cable network is co-developing the project.

Arc of Fire is a global conspiracy thriller set in the shadowy world of a private surveillance firm. Mrksa and Peter Temple created the concept and it's being developed with a UK broadcaster.