Lingo Pictures' The Messenger lands German co-production partner in FabFiction

The project is a scripted co-production initiative between ARD’s public broadcasters NDR, SWR and WDR

By Priyanca Rajput 9 Feb 2023

Lingo Pictures' The Messenger lands German co-production partner in FabFiction
The Messenger. Credit: All3Media International

All3Media International has announced Lingo Pictures’ (part of ITV Studios) uplifting drama series The Messenger, based on Markus Zusak’s novel of the same name, has secured German co-production partner in FabFiction.

The project is a scripted co-production initiative between ARD’s public broadcasters NDR, SWR and WDR.

Commissioned by Australian pubcaster ABC, and produced in association with All3Media International, this deal marks the first partnership between All3Media International and FabFiction in a deal negotiated by All3Media International’s VP for Germany, Benelux, Austria & Switzerland Jonathan Hughes and Frank Tönsmann (WDR) for the FabFiction-Initiative.

The Messenger will be one of the first titles to join FabFiction’s slate, which is dedicated to investing in quality scripted content telling unique and innovative stories with the goal of supporting creative talent.  

Ed Kennedy is just another stupid human, until one day he isn’t. That day, he stops an armed robbery and becomes an accidental hero. The next day, he starts getting messages... Four playing cards – the ace of diamonds, clubs, spades and hearts. Each with their own set of tasks. Who’s sending them? And what the hell is a hopeless, cab-driving, guy like Ed meant to do with them? Ed has been chosen to care. He stumbles this mysterious path, helping and hurting, completing the cards, until he comes to see the real message has been for him. Being the Messenger has brought Ed back to life. 

The Messenger fits perfectly into our needs for non-linear content” says Frank Tönsmann (WDR / FabFiction). “It tells the ageless story about young adults and their struggle for coming of age. Furthermore, it takes our audience to different places around the globe and it is a step into the future where we will collaborate more and more with partners all around the world.” 

Jonathan Hughes, VP for Germany, Benelux, Austria & Switzerland commented, “FabFiction’s emphasis on original, high-quality storytelling and creative empowerment opens up exciting new opportunities in the international co-pro market and makes them a perfect partner to bring this nuanced and compassionate story based on Markus Zusaks’ bestselling novel to international audiences.” 

Lingo Pictures’ producer, Jason Stephens shared, It has been a delight to work with Markus Zusak and with our partners, the ABC, All3Media International and FabFiction, to bring this award winning and internationally acclaimed book to screen and we cannot wait to share it with the rest of the world. 

Sally Riley, head drama, Entertainment and Indigenous adds, “From the moment we first read this we knew it was something we had to make.  We fell in love with these characters, the world and its thematic beating heart.  There’s a reason Markus Zusak’s novel is an international best-seller and Lingo Pictures handled the material with so much care and respect.  It is a rare joy to find a series like this and it’s one we feel our audiences are desperately craving given the state of the world today.” 

Produced by Lingo Pictures, The Messenger unites an esteemed creative lead behind multi-award-winning Lambs of God including writer Sarah Lambert and producers Jason Stephens (Upright) and Elisa Argenzio (New Gold Mountain). Helen Bowden, Markus Zusak, Mika Zusak, Sarah Lambert and Daniel Nettheim are executive producers, along with Sally Riley and Rebecca Anderson from ABC. Directors are Daniel Nettheim (The Tourist), Helena Brooks (The Brokenwood Mysteries) and Jennifer Leacey (The Secrets She Keeps). 

Featuring a cast of emerging Australian talent who are backed by an award-winning creative team, the series will star Helpmann Award winner William McKenna (Nowhere Boys), alongside Australian icon Maggie Dence (Rake, Wonderland), Alexandra Jensen (Frayed, Amazing Grace), Chris Alosio (Troppo) and actor, singer and songwriter Kartanya Maynard (Deadloch). 

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