For immediate release
THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER BY WORLD-RENOWNED KEN FOLLETT WILL BE THE EVENT SERIES OF 2009.
Munich, Germany (2008/04/02) - Eighteen years after its first publication, The Pillars of the Earth, considered by most to be Ken Follett’s masterpiece, is once again Number #1 on the New York Times trade paperback list and has been optioned by TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS to be made into a limited television series. Ridley Scott and Tony Scott’s production company, Scott Free Inc. will be producing this worldwide bestseller together with TANDEM.
“Ken Follett’s story-telling artistry presents a richness and brilliance we dream about when searching for outstanding properties,” says Ridley Scott of Scott Free Inc. “The scope and power of the story and the richness of the characters inspires us to create the highest quality television programming.”
“TANDEM has been working on acquiring the rights to The Pillars of the Earth for more than eight years,” says Rola Bauer, TANDEM’s Managing Director. “My partners and I absolutely love this book and understand that only the medium of television can properly tell this amazingly rich story full of drama, sensuality and pathos – it’s the material that makes international television events successful. We’re also very proud to be working again with the creative talent at Scott Free.”
“After the successful collaboration between Scott Free and TANDEM on the award-winning miniseries The Company, we wanted a repeat,” says David Zucker, Scott Free’s President of Television. “Both companies are bringing strengths to the table that will collaboratively enable us to live up to the wonderful challenges that such a monumental story demands.”
The Pillars of the Earth is a sweeping epic of good and evil, treachery and intrigue, violence and beauty. This sensuous, spirited and passionate story is set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tears lives and families apart. In that time, there rises a magnificent cathedral in Kingsbridge.
Against this backdrop, love-stories entwine: Tom, the master builder, Aliena, the noblewoman, the sadistic Lord William, Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack, the artist in stone work and Ellen, the woman from the forest who casts a curse. At once, this is a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age. Follett masterfully weaves these stories through the political turmoil of 12th century England, creating a relevant and viable world for today’s audience and for generations to come.
The Pillars of the Earth has been translated into 30 languages and, to date, has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide. In 2007, The Pillars of the Earth was named Oprah Winfrey’s 60th Book Club Selection; it is ranked 33rd on BBC’s 2003 ‘The Big Read’ as one of the top 100 books ever printed.
The Pillars of the Earth was chosen 27th out of the ‘101 Books to Read Before You Die’ and is ranked the third most popular book ever printed in Germany after The Bible and The Lord of the Rings.
The Pillars of the Earth enjoys many more accolades too numerous to mention.
Ken Follett’s deal was brokered by CAA. David Nochimson of Ziffren Law Firm brokered on behalf of TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS and Scott Free Television; the latter of the two is also repped by CAA.
Based in Los Angeles and London, SCOTT FREE, INC. was formed in 1995 and is the film and television production company of directors Ridley Scott and Tony Scott.
Scott Free Television produces the hit CBS series Numb3rs, set to enter its fifth season. A four-hour adaptation of Michael Crichton’s landmark novel, The Andromeda Strain is slated to premiere on A&E in May 2008. In post-production is HBO’s forthcoming Churchill at War, a sequel to the Emmy®-winning telefilm, The Gathering Storm.
Scott Free Films produced the box-office smash American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, and The Assassination of Jesse James starring Brad Pitt.
Scott Free is in post-production on Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, after which he’ll helm Nottingham, a role-reversal of the classic Robin Hood tale starring Russell Crowe. Tony Scott’s next film will be a remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta.
Ridley Scott’s films include classics Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Thelma & Louise (1991), Gladiator (2000). Tony Scott’s landmark films include The Hunger (1983), Top Gun (1986), Enemy of the State (1998).
TANDEM COMMUNICATIONS was started in 1999 by Rola Bauer and Tim Halkin. In 2007 Jonas Bauer became a partner in the company. From the beginning their strategy was to build a vertically integrated media company whose core business is International Production and Worldwide Distribution.
From the Emmy®-nominated Dune to the Emmy®-nominated Dragons’ World to the Golden Globe®-nominated The Company to the Nora Roberts Franchise, TANDEM continues to identify and develop high-quality projects in a wide range of event programming.
TANDEM produced the DIVA Award-winning The Ring of the Nibelungs and is currently in production on Lost City Raiders, a new two-hour movie starring James Brolin, Ian Somerhalder and Jamie Thomas King, scheduled for delivery in October 2008.
TANDEM is co-producing Impact, a new four-hour miniseries slated to begin principal photography in April 2008. TANDEM continues to grow its library of event programming with wide audience appeal.
In 2007, TANDEM’s production and distribution volume exceeded US$ 103 million; in 2008 that volume is expected to exceed US$ 152 million.
TANDEM’s head office is located in Munich, Germany.