The arrangement will see SPE gain exclusive first rights to the full range of the Guardian’s global journalism, with the aim of developing suitable materials for audio-visual adaptation.
The collaboration spans the whole of SPE’s TV production groups, from its US scripted and nonfiction television divisions, to international production, which includes scripted companies Left Bank Pictures, Bad Wolf, and Eleven, and unscripted, sport and factual entertainment producers such as The Whisper Group. As well as TV, the agreement spans SPE’s feature film division, which includes labels such as 3000 Pictures, Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, and Screen Gems.
Under the deal, SPE will have access to the Guardian’s current and developing news stories, and to the Guardian archive, containing 200 years of history across articles, blogs, columns, videos and podcasts.
Commenting on the collaboration, Keith Underwood, chief financial & operating officer of Guardian Media Group, said: “We are delighted to announce this new, strategic collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment, which will serve to evolve and grow the Guardian’s activity in TV and Film. Guardian journalism has a well-established track record in this space, with Oscar and BAFTA award-winning output over recent years. Sony Pictures Entertainment brings industry-leading development, production and distribution expertise on a global scale, and this agreement reflects our mutual commitment and shared passion to bring more Guardian journalism to screen”.
Wayne Garvie, president, international production, Sony Pictures Television, added: “To be able to draw on The Guardian’s extraordinary journalism, past, present and future, to create a new generation of dramas, documentaries and movies, is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us at Sony Pictures. We are continually seeking stories that have a distinctive and creative spirit, and connect with audiences the world over, and the Guardian team certainly brings those qualities through their top-notch journalism.”
Elizabeth Gabler, president, 3000 Pictures, said:“The scope for this collaboration across feature film as well as television really speaks to the huge breadth of potential and reach of this deal. The Guardian has an esteemed history of great journalism, and with ‘Colette’ and ‘Black Sheep’ they have garnered huge acclaim for their documentary feature output. We are proud they want to work with Sony Pictures as they continue to move into this space, and we can’t wait to start developing projects with them”.
In addition to recent deals with the BBC, Netflix and Sky, the Guardian has a slate of other projects in development in the UK and US, and three option deals with SPE that will launch the new collaboration.
The agreement, brokered by London agency group, Curtis Brown, will be overseen by a new executive team appointed by SPE and the Guardian, developing content jointly and drawing on unique collaboration with the Guardian’s journalists and contributors.