Stephen Corvini has partnered with Fremantle Australia and Fremantle-owned Israeli production company Abot Hameiri to develop a passion project based on the story of Melbourne-born Mossad recruit Ben Zygier.
Titled Prisoner X, one of the placeholder names used for Zygier while imprisoned, the eight-part series will follow his journey from suburban Melbourne to the Israeli Defence Force, before joining Mossad.
Described as a character-driven drama, the series will follow Zygier’s dreams of heroism – dreams which tragically disintegrated when he was imprisoned and stripped of his identity. Zygier died in custody in Tel Aviv in 2010 under mysterious circumstances.
Corvini, the producer behind Safe Harbour, Hungry Ghosts and Secret City 2 – Under the Eagle, will EP the co-production under his Live Wires banner. He had previously been developing the project with Keshet International.
Giula Sandler is attached as lead writer, and former ABC Foreign Correspondent reporter Trevor Bormann, who broke the story of Zygier’s death, is also part of the development team.
Chris Oliver-Taylor will EP for Fremantle, and Guy Hameiri for Abot Hameiri.
Corvini said: “Prisoner X is a story without peer that I’ve been waiting to bring to the world for some time. Now with Fremantle and Abot Hameiri as production partners I know we’ll be able to tell this extraordinary story with the expertise, talent and support it requires, and above all humanity.”
Fremantle CEO Asia Pacific Oliver-Taylor said: “We are thrilled to work with our friends Abot Hameiri and Stephen Corvini on this groundbreaking story. Coupled with Giula Sander writing and the man who broke the story in Australia, Trevor Bormann, as part of the development team, Prisoner X is a thrilling and nuanced character drama, and it’s the perfect project for an Australia-Israel co-production.”
The plan is for Prisoner X to film across Australia and Israel in 2022.
Fremantle will be handling global distribution.