A new promising Hollywood production, an Alexander the Great series tracing the life of the greatest Greek warrior, has been announced by the creators of “Vikings” to be filmed in Greece.
The new series on the life of the ultimate Greek hero, who lived in the third century BC, will be shot in the land where he lived, just two years after the launch of the US’ Starlings Television, which is Starlings Entertainment’s TV division, led by Chris Philip.
The first two series produced by the group, “Pandora” and “Departure,” were successful enough that they were picked up for a second year in the US, on The CW and Peacock channels in the United States.
Starlings TV announced that it will go forward with two high-profile series projects, which are in what they termed advanced stages of development, including “Alexander the Great,” which is a collaboration between Ben Silverman and Propagate. The pilot show for this series is now being written by Michael Hurst, who penned “Vikings” and”The Tudors.”
The group just finished filming “The Admirer” in Bulgaria, during the worst of the pandemic, with strict coronavirus protocols and rigorous testing the order of the day. The projects were wrapped without having one single shutdown, according to Starlings TV president and executive producer Philip.
Formerly an executive in the distribution realm of filmmaking and television, Philip spoke about how his independent company has made its way through the extremely challenging realm of television, including selling his projects to channels al over the world.
“The strategy is to, of course, do what everyone else is doing by packaging the best possible package and trying to sell to the US networks, and whatever the deals looks like depends on who we go with, whether it’s a global deal with a streamer or if it’s the U.S. and then distribution takes it,” he explains.
“But there is another model that I’ve always stuck to it, and it’s piecing together everything and making (the project) anyway, not relying on any one voice or company to decide our fate on something we worked so hard on over the development process.”
“We have several others where distributors are coming at the development stage to secure their position as a partner and guarantee their right to sell,” Philip said. “They co-invest with us in the development process.”
Alexander the Great Series will be shot where Alexander was born
The series on the life of Alexander the Great will be shot in Greece itself, with Greece’s Antenna Group as co-producer. G5 Fiction and ZDF Enterprises also are involved in the project, which reunites Silverman and Hirst following their collaboration on “The Tudors.” The Greek firms G5 and ZDF Enterprises will also be involved in the shooting of the historical series.
Distributor Mediawan is also Starlings’ partner on the slate of TV movies, starting with The Admirer, which tells the story of a woman searching for answers when her smart house and social media are hacked by a mysterious person with a dangerous obsession.
“We are making them just a little bit bigger budged and better quality than some of the typical thrillers for television,” Philip said of his most recent projects, adding that the company would like to produce 6-12 films a year.
Some will most likely be shot in Bulgaria with others in settings such as California and Canada. Of course, all of these locations are contingent upon what Covid-19 conditions are prevalent at the time.
The parent company of Starlings TV, Starlings entertainment, which is a media group launched almost three years ago by Mediabiz and DMH Holdings, co-financed the recent Elton John biopic “Rocketman.”
Starlings also invested in “Countryline” the UK-based country music fan app which is backed by Elton John, and they have expanded their partnership to a deal involving the development of film and television projects with talent from Countryline talent. Four television projects are already going ahead, even in this challenging atmosphere.
“Starlings Television is part of a company that is forward thinking, that is financially solid, that is agile that is led by highly experienced executives,” Martin said. “I hope the next few years will be as great as the first three.”