Moonage Pictures, in collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, has announced the commencement of filming for a brand-new series of “The Famous Five” for the BBC in the United Kingdom. This exciting project is being co-produced with ZDF in Germany, with the French territory already presold to TF1.
Based on Enid Blyton’s beloved collection of 21 stories, the 3×90′ series will be created for television and executive produced by Nicolas Winding Refn (byNWR) and Matthew Read (Moonage Pictures). The production will unfold across the picturesque landscapes of the South West of the UK.
Nicolas Winding Refn, creator and executive producer, expressed his lifelong passion for maintaining a sense of childlike adventure. He stated, “By reimagining The Famous Five, I am preserving that notion by bringing these iconic stories to life for a progressive new audience, instilling the undefinable allure and enchantment of childhood for current and future generations to come.”
Co-founder of Moonage Pictures, Will Gould, emphasised the creative freedom this venture provides, stating, “Moonage Pictures was created to provide the right creative environment to explore ideas without limitation, and this provides us with exactly that opportunity. In the hands of Nicolas and Matthew, this Famous Five will be a modern, timely, and irreverent action series with adventure at its heart.”
Patricia Hidalgo, Director of BBC Children’s and Education, expressed her excitement about bringing these beloved books to life, stating, “Bringing these books to life with a new reimagining of The Famous Five is a real treat for BBC audiences and a celebration of British heritage. These stories are loved around the world, and bringing families together is a key part of our strategy, so we hope it introduces a new generation of viewers to these wonderful adventures.”
The series will follow five daring young explorers as they embark on treacherous and action-packed adventures, encountering remarkable mysteries, unparalleled danger, and astounding secrets in an unforgettable odyssey that celebrates the power of camaraderie among fearless young heroes.
The series was commissioned by Sarah Muller, Senior Head of Children’s Commissioning 7+, and the commissioning editor for the BBC is Amy Buscombe. ZDF’s commissioning editors, Frank Seyberth and Katharina Kremling, will also be involved. The series will be directed by Tim Kirkby and produced by Moonage Pictures and byNWR Originals. BBC Studios, holding a minority stake in Moonage, will oversee international distribution and has facilitated the co-production and presales deals with TF1 in France and ZDF in Germany. The writing team includes Matthew Read, Priya K Dosanjh, and Matthew Bouch. The executive producers include Nicolas Winding Refn, Matthew Read, Will Gould, Frith Tiplady, Christina Bostofte Erritzøe, Kimberly Willming, and Matthew Bouch, with Sophie MacClancy serving as the producer.
Dr. Simone Emmelius, SVP International Fiction at ZDF, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “We are thrilled to join forces with our friends and partners of the BBC, BBC Studios, and TF1 to bring the much-loved books of Enid Blyton back on screen. Moonage and the amazing creative team have created modern and exciting new adventures for the well-known Famous Five, which we can’t wait to show our audiences.”
Sophie Leveaux, Artistic Director of Acquisitions & International Drama Development at TF1, shared her delight about participating in “The Famous Five” adventure, stating, “We are delighted and proud to be taking part in The Famous Five adventure alongside our formidable partners BBC and ZDF. This wonderful series of books has enjoyed undeniable success for several generations in France. This great brand, perfect for bringing the whole family together, fits in perfectly with TF1’s editorial line. We are convinced that this remarkably well-written TV series, faithful to Enid Blyton’s novel, will be a great asset to TF1’s programming.”
Karen Lawler, Head of Licensed Content for Hachette Children’s Group, owners of Enid Blyton Entertainment, expressed her delight about Moonage Pictures’ involvement in bringing “The Famous Five” to television, stating, “We are delighted that Moonage Pictures will be bringing all the thrills, charm, and warmth of The Famous Five to television.”
Mark Linsey, President of Scripted at BBC Studios Productions, conveyed his excitement about the project, saying, “The Famous Five books are full of childhood adventures and friendship. We are excited to have brought our longstanding colleagues at TF1 and ZDF onboard with our production partners at Moonage to bring these iconic characters to the screen for a new audience around the world.”